Mikaela Shiffrin is now one World Cup win away from equalling Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s decades-old record of 86 after a slalom victory in the Czech resort of Spindleruv Mlyn on Saturday.
The 27-year-old’s 85th career victory further extended the women’s record she set this week and the American can equal Stenmark’s absolute tally, completed in 1989, with another slalom on the same slope on Sunday.
The outright record will have to wait until after the world championships on French snow in Courchevel and Meribel from Feb. 6-18.
Shiffrin clocked 48.19 seconds in the first run, 0.29 faster than Germany’s Lena Duerr and 0.46 quicker than Slovak rival and 2022 Olympic slalom champion Petra Vlhova.
She powered down with the second-fastest time in the decisive run, ending up 0.60 ahead of Duerr with Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener moving onto the podium as Vlhova dropped to fourth.
“I knew it would take some risk. There’s a chance I don’t finish at all but I have to do my best turns if I want to have a chance because these women are so strong,” gasped Shiffrin in the finish area.
“I could hear you all so loud, thank you for cheering,” she told the crowd, despite many of them clearly rooting for the local favourite Vlhova.
“I know there’s a lot of Slovakian fans out here,” added the American. “You make our sport better, so thank you.”
Shiffrin last Tuesday broke the women’s record of 82 wins she shared with compatriot Lindsey Vonn in a giant slalom in the Italian resort of Kronplatz.
She followed that up with an 84th win on the same slope on Wednesday. Read full story
Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in a giant slalom in Spindleruv Mlyn in 2011 as a 15-year-old.
The four times overall World Cup champion has now won five of eight slaloms so far this season and 11 World Cup races, making it her best campaign since 2018-19 when she won a record 17 times.
In the overall standings, she has a commanding lead over Vlhova with 1,617 points to the Slovak’s 946 and Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami on 906.