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08.01.2019

Shiffrin takes her fourth title on Sljeme

“I felt the fans’ support on the course and the conditions fit me perfectly”

Zagreb/Sljeme, January 5 2019 - Mikaela Shiffrin won her fourth crown atop Sljeme after completing a fantastic second run and keeping the lead from the first run of today’s slalom race. With this win, the great American skier has caught up to Austria’s Marlies Schild, who has also won four times on the Crveni Spust course.

“Zagreb and Sljeme are both special to me and I always do great here. Even though I hadn’t always performed as well, I skied differently each time, whether under pressure or completely free. When I have great self-confidence, when the course is excellent and fast as this one was, then I can use all the advantages of such a good course and get a good result in the end. I enjoyed myself on the course because I was able to be aggressive. It was a fantastic race and the conditions fit me perfectly. I would like to thank the fans alongside the Crveni Spust course because, even though I am from the United States, I felt their support for me and that makes me happy,” said the 22-year-old at the press conference after beating Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener.

This was the great American’s seventh consecutive World Cup slalom win. “My whole team, which has been doing a great job so far, deserves the credit for this winning streak. My team constantly drives me to do better and be faster. They give me back my focus after every race and they motivate me, so I would stay on top. There are many people around me making all this possible and we function perfectly,” said Shiffrin, who is currently firmly in the lead of the World Cup overall standings.

“This time around, the crown is perfectly fine. It is a beautiful trophy and, personally, one of my favourite ones. I keep all my Snow Queen crowns at home, in a special, secure and visible place,” concluded Shiffrin.

Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova came second in this evening’s race. “I made some minor mistakes in the first run, which cost me a lot of time, so I wanted to have a perfect second run. I was aggressive from the very start but seeing as the course was long and icy, which doesn’t really suit me, I had to make a special effort in the last part of the course. Still, seeing my final time on the scoreboard and realising I was second, I was quite happy. I love being here in Zagreb and once again we had a wonderful atmosphere,” said the 23-year-old, who then commented on Shiffrin’s excellent form.

“To beat Mikaela, you have to have two top-level runs. I wasn’t happy after the first run, as being a whole second behind is a lot in this sport. Her runs are practically flawless. She won this time; however, we have many races ahead of us,” Vlhova concluded.

Even though she was second after the first run, in the end Wendy Holdener had to settle with third place. “Mikaela and Petra skied pretty good both times. The course was excellently prepared; it wasn’t too icy and I love such conditions. I will, however, echo what Petra has already said: you need to ski really well to beat Mikaela. She is in excellent form. I have to focus as best I can and put in additional effort to realise my goals and take that first place,” said the 25-year-old Swiss skier.

“This is one of the most special World Cup races. You can see the whole city from the starting gate and it is something different and truly unique. It is always wonderful to come to Zagreb and to be on Sljeme, to hang around with the fans and other skiers,” she said.