HELSINKI, Nov 11 (Reuters) - American Mikaela Shiffrin suffered a rare slalom defeat on Saturday when she was beaten by Slovakian Petra Vlhova in the World Cup race at Levi in Finland.
Shiffrin, the world and Olympic slalom champion and last season’s overall World Cup winner, led after the first run by 0.21 seconds but was upstaged when Vlhova produced a flawless second run in 1 minute 49.98 seconds to clock up her third career win.
Shiffrin, 22, has dominated the slalom, winning the World Cup in the discipline for the last four seasons. Last year, she won seven of the 10 World Cup races with Vlhova among the three skiers to beat her.
Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener was third, a further 1.25 seconds behind Shiffrin.
“I’m really happy because it was a really tough day. Mikaela – she is always fast. But now, I am fast,” Vlhova said.
Following the Levi tradition, Vlhova was awarded a baby reindeer which she said she would name Igor after her father
Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond