American Mikaela Shiffrin wins World Cup slalom in Finland

Nov. 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

LEVI, Finland, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. teenage phenom Mikaela Shiffrin made her presence known early on the Alpine World Cup tour with a victory in the women's slalom Saturday.

Shiffrin, 18, posted two runs of under 58 seconds at Levi, Finland, Saturday and breezed to a 1.06-second win over German veteran Maria Hoefl-Riesch.

"Maybe I was a little bit lucky in the first run, I can't even really remember it," Shiffrin said. "I just wanted to treat the second run like its own race and really hammer it. I was in the gate and like, 'No mercy, charge down this course' and I think I did."

It was the fifth career World Cup win for Shiffrin, who turned in a combined-run time of 1 minute, 55.07 seconds. Hoefl-Riesch, who has three slalom victories at Levi on her resume, was clocked at 1:56.13 and Slovenia's Tina Maze placed third with a 1:56.68. Austrian rookie Christina Ager was an impressive fourth in her first career World Cup start with a time of 1:56.73.

Shiffrin won 100 World Cup points for her victory, and was also awarded an actual Finnish reindeer, a 6-month-old calf she named Rudolf. "Who wouldn't want to get a reindeer?" she joked. "I remember being 5 years old and 'Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer' was my favorite song."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Seattle Seahawks hold off Detroit Lions for controversial win
Oakland Athletics promote Billy Beane, name David Forst GM
Apology saves Rory McIlroy $20K
Falcons hope to get injured RB Coleman back this week