Teen Shiffrin crowned world slalom champion

Story highlights

  • Seventeen-year-old beats more experienced rivals at World Ski Championships
  • Teenager from Vail, Colorado is youngest winner of women's slalom event for 39 years
  • Shiffrin takes U.S. gold medal haul to four adding to Ted Ligety's triple success

Seventeen-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin produced a stunning second run to claim the women's slalom title at the World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria on Saturday.

The slalom princess, as Shiffrin has become known, was in third place after the first run but skied to the top of the podium with a rapid second, clocking an aggregate time of one minute 39.85 seconds, 0.22 ahead of Austria's Michaela Kirchgasser with Sweden's Frida Hansdotter finishing in third.

"It was crazy, there are so many emotions today. I thought I skied solid but probably not to my potential, my legs were tired," Shiffrin said.

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"I was nervous up until I went out of the start ... but when I got in the start, I felt alive and ready to race," she added.

The teenager from Vail, Colorado arrived at her first world world championships in top form. She won her first World Cup race in Sweden in December and followed it up with victories in Croatia and Austria last month.

At 17 years, 340 days, Shiffrin is the youngest winner of the women's slalom world title since Liechtenstein's Hanni Wenzel in 1974.

"It's been a pretty amazing experience. I was thinking so many things. It was one of those times when everything was a blur and that's when you know it's good. I've been taking it day by day and right now I'm just taking it second by second."

    Finland's Tanja Poutianen finished fourth while Slovakia's Tina Maze -- who took gold in the Super-G and silver in the Giant Slalom -- finished fifth.

    Shiffrin's victory is the U.S.'s fourth of the championships -- adding to Ted Ligety's wins in the Super-G, the Giant Slalom and the Super Combined -- and consolidates their place at the top of the medal's table with a total of four gold and one bronze.

    France are currently lying second with two golds -- Marion Rolland in the Downhill and Tessa Worley in the Giant Slalom -- one silver and one bronze.