FLACHAU, Austria (Reuters) - Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin entered the record books with her third slalom victory of the season in Flachau on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old American joined alpine skiing great Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria as the only skiers to have won three World Cup slaloms at such a precocious age.
She received a cheque for 58,000 euros (48,173 pounds), the highest on the women’s World Cup circuit, but said she was not in it for the money.
“I’ll save the money for my education or maybe pay for a trip to Maui in the Spring. What do I have to do with money at 17? I could give it to my dad to buy me an ice cream,” she said after winning in a combined time of one minute and 51.45 seconds.
Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, already a four-time runner-up, missed out on her fist victory by 0.85 seconds to finish second.
Finn Tanja Poutiainen, who started her World Cup career when Shiffrin was only two years old, was third, 1.10 seconds adrift.
Shiffrin’s victory was perhaps a little luckier than her previous two as German Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch was leading comfortably when she straddled a gate near the finish on the second run.
“It’s just a game, but it’s a fight anyway. I didn’t know before the second run if I would have a real chance. I knew that Maria Riesch would be going for it,” Shiffrin said.
The German, who had been struggling in recent weeks, tried just a little bit too hard on the tricky, floodlit course set in Austrian great Hermann Maier’s home resort.
”I was really fast on the top section,“ Hoelf-Riesch said. ”I found the right pace as I was going down but I took one gate too early and in slalom, you pay a high price straightaway.
“I‘m really bitter because nothing was going right in recent weeks. In the first leg I was telling myself things were changing at last,” she added.
While Shiffrin strengthened her lead in the slalom standings, overall World Cup leader Tina Maze finished fifth and increased her lead over Hoefl-Riesch to 590 points.
The women’s World Cup moves to Cortina d‘Ampezzo at the weekend for a downhill and a Super-G. ($1 = 0.7492 euros)
Reporting by Patrick Lang; editing by Toby Davis