Mikaela Shiffrin finishes second in Alpine skiing World Cup return

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  • Tokyo Games
    Tokyo Games
  • Mikaela Shiffrin
    Mikaela Shiffrin
    American alpine skier

Mikaela Shiffrin finished second to Slovakian rival Petra Vlhova in her first Alpine skiing World Cup race since announcing eight days earlier that she tested positive for the coronavirus.

Vlhova won a slalom by a half-second combining times from two runs in Zagreb, Croatia, on Tuesday. Austrian Katharina Liensberger was third, 1.61 seconds behind Shiffrin.

“It takes a little bit of time to get my physical shape back to the top level,” Shiffrin said between the first and second runs, noting she “pretty much” had not exercised the previous two weeks. “I didn’t have too much expectation.”

ALPINE WORLD CUP: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Shiffrin missed last week’s races — a giant slalom and slalom in Lienz, Austria — due to COVID-19 protocols for testing positive. Shiffrin said she had mild symptoms and was vaccinated and boosted, then produced a negative test early this week to return for Tuesday’s race.

She has finished first or second in all seven of her slalom or giant slalom starts this season, the most consistently strong start to a season of her career in the technical events.

But Vlhova is the world’s top-ranked slalom skier, winning four of the five World Cups this season. Shiffrin’s lone victory in the discipline came in Killington, Vermont, on Thanksgiving weekend.

Shiffrin is ranked No. 1 in the GS and the reigning world champion in the combined, which is not raced on the World Cup this season. She may go into the Olympics with those two events presenting her best gold-medal chances rather than slalom, her trademark event.

The men race in Zagreb on Wednesday. The women’s World Cup moves to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for a giant slalom and slalom this weekend.

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Mikaela Shiffrin finishes second in Alpine skiing World Cup return originally appeared on NBCSports.com