czech republic skiing cup united mikaela shiffrin speeds an alpine ski women 1

US skier Shiffrin leads the slalom in pursuit of a record 86th victory

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin led the first run of a women’s World Cup slalom as she neared the all-time record for most career wins with 86

US skier Shiffrin leads slalom in pursuit of record 86th winThe Associated PressSPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic

SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin had what she called a “perfect run” to lead a women’s World Cup slalom after Sunday’s opening race, approaching the all-time record for most career wins with 86.

If Shiffrin wins the race, he equals Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s best score from the 1980s.

Shiffrin seemed to widen in some corners early in her run, but quickly regained control and was flawless in the middle and bottom sections.

The American built a large lead of 0.67 seconds over Lena Dürr of Germany. Croatian skier Zrinka Ljutic was third at 0.85, while the rest of the field were more than a second off the pace.

“This was the perfect ride, I think. I was aggressive throughout and really good at my timing,” Shiffrin said. “Even when I thought, maybe, I was a little late or something, I could just turn where I wanted and keep pushing. So it’s exactly how I wanted feel me, so it’s perfect.

Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson was fourth behind by 1.03 and Olympic slalom champion Petra Vlhová of Slovakia was 1.54 behind.

The second run starts at 12:15 local time.

Racing at the resort near the Czech-Polish border where she made her 15-year-old World Cup debut almost 12 years ago, Shiffrin dominated a slalom on the same course on Saturday, posting the fastest times in both heats for her win career 85.

On Tuesday, she surpassed the women’s record held by her former teammate Lindsey Vonn. Vonn has 82 wins since she retired four years ago.

A win on Sunday would also see Shiffrin wrap up the season’s slalom title with two races to spare. Her closest challenger in the discipline rankings, Wendy Holdener, made a costly mistake and the Swiss skier failed to qualify for the second run and will score no World Cup points.

It would mark yet another record for Shiffrin, making her the first woman to win seven season slalom titles, surpassing Swiss standout Vreni Schneider, who won it six times in the 1980s and 1990s.


More AP skis: And