(Reuters) – American Mikaela Shiffrin equaled compatriot Lindsey Vonn’s record for most women’s World Cup victories in one discipline after winning the 43rd slalom of her career in Lienz, Austria on Sunday.
Vonn had set the mark in the downhill event before she ended an 18-year career last February and Shiffrin is now on 64 World Cup wins overall, moving one step closer to Vonn’s all-time women’s record of 82.
Two weeks after finishing a dismal 17th in a giant slalom in Courchevel, a performance that led to a lot of self-doubt, 24-year-old Shiffrin bounced back over the weekend in Austria.
She won the giant slalom by a huge margin on Saturday and was again in a class of her own in Sunday’s slalom, her speciality.
Shiffrin recorded the fastest time in both legs and beat second-placed rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia by 0.61 seconds and Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin, who finished 1.73 seconds behind.
“That second run was some of the best skiing I’ve done all season, so I was pretty psyched with both races both days,” Shiffrin said in a conference call.
The win also moved Shiffrin closer to the record for most wins in a single discipline set by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark, who won the giant slalom 46 times between 1975 and 1989.
Shiffrin’s dominant weekend signaled a resumption of regular service after the recent disappointment of Courchevel, which led to some serious soul searching.
“After Courchevel I lost all of my confidence. That race hurt a lot, both mentally and emotionally,” she said.
“I don’t think I slept for three days. Maybe I just needed to get a grip on reality (but) it was a big deal, at least in my own head and what I felt in my heart.
“I talked a lot last season about not having expectations but after 17 victories last season, it’s been more difficult than I expected to not compare every move I make this season to what I did last season.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ian Chadband)