OFTERSCHWANG, Germany (AP) — Overall champion Tina Maze of Slovenia beat Mikaela Shiffrin in a World Cup slalom Sunday to overtake the American teenager in the discipline standings and close in on becoming the first woman to win five crystal globes in a season.
Maze also got a piece of another record in a season where she has already broken several, equaling Austrian great Hermann Maier’s mark of 22 World Cup podiums in 1999-2000. The Slovenian earlier broke Maier’s record for points in a season, and she extended her total to 2,254 with her 10th win.
Maze finished her two runs on the Ofterschwanger Horn course in 1 minute, 52.85 seconds to beat Wendy Holdener of Switzerland by 0.25 seconds.
More importantly, though, she beat the 17-year-old Shiffrin after trailing the American world champion by one tenth of a second on the first run. Shiffrin couldn’t protect her lead and finished 0.75 behind in third place, giving Maze a seven-point lead in the slalom standings going into Saturday’s last race of the season.
“There was a bit of nervousness there, because it’s a discipline in which you have to attack and risk a little bit,” Maze said. “So for me today, it was important just to stay calm and ski — not to think too much.”
With a win worth 100 points and second place getting 80, a win for either Shiffrin or Maze would secure the slalom title and the crystal globe that comes with it.
“It isn’t over until the fat lady sings,” Shiffrin said. “It’s good that it’s exciting to the end.”
The 29-year-old Maze has already clinched the overall and giant slalom titles. She leads the super-G standings along with the slalom and can also clinch the downhill title at next week’s World Cup finals at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Shiffrin had been bidding to become only the second woman to win four World Cup slaloms in a season at age 17 or younger; she won’t have the chance again as she turns 18 on Wednesday.
German skier Christa Zechmeister achieved the feat in 1973-74 as a 16-year-old.
The race was held up for several minutes after Anne-Sophie Barthet of France crashed near the finish and needed treatment.