'Nervous' Shiffrin equals women's World Cup victory record

Mikaela Shiffrin produced a skiing masterclass as she equalled Lindsey Vonn's women's record of 82 World Cup victories with a superb win in the giant slalom at Kranjska Gora on Sunday.

The 27-year-old American produced two dominant runs to beat the Italian Federica Brignone by 0.77 seconds. The Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami was third, 0.97sec behind Shiffrin.

"I was so nervous on this run, I even had a rash on my face, maybe a bit of that was because of '82'," a tearful Shiffrin told broadcaster Eurosport.

"I wanted to ski well and I did it. I can't believe it.

"It was a fight but it was pretty amazing conditions. I got a report from the coaches that everything is fully attackable and you have to go for it. I have been in this position and given it away. Today I wanted to fight for it."

Her 82 wins have been across all formats: slalom (51), giant slalom (17), super-G (5), downhill (3), city events (3), parallel slalom (2) and Alpine combined (1).

Shiffrin picked up the first of those just over 10 years ago when she was only 17 and has taken just 233 starts to equal the record. Vonn, by way of contrast, started 395 races in her 13-year career.

She is now just four wins shy of matching the overall record of 86 wins held by the Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark, who dominated the men's slalom and giant slalom disciplines for a decade from 1975 before retiring in 1989.

Shiffrin might have equalled the record 24 hours earlier but, after five successive World Cup wins, she could only finish sixth in the weekend's opening giant slalom as Valerie Grenier gave Canada its first victory since 1974.

- 'Indescribable' -

First out of the gate, Shiffrin dominated the opening run on Sunday, taking a 0.24sec lead over Brignone with Grenier continuing on her fine form the third quickest.

Shiffrin was even more in charge in the second run as she powered down the piste, stretching that lead by another half-second to match the record set by her compatriot Vonn, who bowed out of competition after the 2019 Are world championships at the age of 34.

Brignone recovered from a small mistake at the top of her second run to claim second, her 50th World Cup podium and a nice change after picking up four results of fourth or fifth in the five previous giant slalom races.

"Today I had a super first run, and the second run I started really a bit sleepy and then I said to myself, 'You wake up or you're going to end again fourth or fifth,' so I really tried my best and I was pushing 'til the end," said the Italian.

Shiffrin has never made a big deal of her medals and records and even appeared slightly embarrassed about the fuss being made about this latest landmark.

"Maybe at some point people will stop talking about it," she said.

"I'm trying not to think about it. I'm trying not to change my goals for this record.

"But it's 82 victories, it's a bit indescribable."

Shiffrin had a disastrous Olympics in China last year but is on course for a fifth overall World Cup title with the world championships at the French Alps resorts of Courchevel and Meribel approaching next month.

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