Mikaela Shiffrin won her first ever World Cup race after finishing first in Sweden
Teenager becomes second youngest American to win a World Cup event
Home favorite Frida Hansdotter came second with Tina Maze of Slovenia in third
U.S. star Mikaela Shiffrin produced a stunning slalom run to claim her first ever World Cup race victory at Are, Sweden on Thursday.
The 17-year-old clocked the fastest aggregate time over two legs to see off home favorite Frida Hansdotter and championship leader Tina Maze of Slovenia.
The teenager, racing in the absence of leading American Lindsey Vonn, finished with a combined time of one minute 45.36 seconds to stun her opponents.
Shiffrin, who came home 00.29 seconds ahead of Hansdotter, had trailed after the first leg before roaring back to claim top spot.
“I’ll need for some time to be able to take this in,” Shiffrin, who did not finish Wednesday’s giant slalom, told reporters.
“I really enjoyed myself out there. I just tried to fly and sometimes it is easier like that. I will need to calm myself down before the next race at Semmering.”
Shiffrin became the second youngest American to win a World Cup race, after Judy Nagel.
“My mom is my biggest help. She keeps me focused and grounded. I’m sure she’ll talk to me in the next couple of days to make sure my head doesn’t get too big,” she said.
“Right now I want to hug her a lot. She’ll be here for Christmas with my dad. Right now I just need to calm down and regroup.”
Maze, who was forced to settle for third place, was more than happy with her performance as she continued to dominate the overall standings.
She said: “The second leg was very fast and I am happy with that performance before Christmas and a little break that I feel I need. I gave everything I had today and it worked out well.”
Maze sits top of the overall table on 919 points with Germany’s Maria Hofl-Riesch second with 532 points and Kathrin Zettel of Austria third on 466 points.
Shiffrin, who last year became the youngest American to win a national alpine skiing championship, heads the slalom standings by 22 points from Hofl-Riesch – the overall World Cup champion in 2011 and a double Olympic gold medalist.