History-maker Mikaela Shiffrin storms to slalom hat-trick

"I didn't want to celebrate until I knew for certain I had won", she said.

Slovak pair Veronika Velez Zuzulova (+0.59) and Petra Vlhova (+0.76) were next, ahead of Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, Switzerland's Michelle Gisin and Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser.

At just 21, Mikaela Shiffrin has already achieved more than most professional skiers do in a lifetime.

The last female skier to bag three consecutive slalom crowns was Germany's Christel Cranz, but that was back in 1937-39 when the world championships were much smaller, equipment used was nowhere near as cutting edge as it is today, and course-setting and preparation were not almost as taxing as modern skiers face.

On Saturday, the Colorado native won her third world title in a slalom to become the first skier in 78 years to record the hat trick in that event since Germany's Christl Cranz in 1939.

Discussing the confidence factor, Shiffrin said, "The biggest thing I was thinking about was "ski fast and see if you could win.' The next biggest thing I was thinking about was 'you're going to ski out and screw it up on the first gate or something'".

Winning the first run by 0.38 seconds over Holdener, Shiffrin crushed the second run, on a course set by her coach Mike Day, to extend her victory margin to 1.64 seconds.

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Hirscher captured his sixth world championship medal Friday with the men's giant slalom gold.

Shiffrin, the two-time defending slalom World Champion, is now focused on Saturday's slalom, the final event of the 2017 World Championships.

Silver also represented a second medal of the Championships for Holdener after she triumphed in the combined while Hansdotter added to her team event bronze from St Moritz, meaning she has five World medals to her name now.

"I'm really excited with the silver in GS and today's race is as good as it could be", said Shiffrin, who was congratulated course-side by IOC President Thomas Bach.

On Thursday, she became the first American woman since 2005 to medal in giant slalom when she clinched silver behind victor Tessa Worley of France. "I was just trying to ski fast", Shiffrin told CNN's Alpine Edge.

Tessa Worley of France won her second World Championship giant slalom title. Sometimes it gets really peely with the sun baking the surface, but there was something underneath, and I was nearly surprised with how good it was. The first run I felt like I left something on the hill but I had a chance to improve that and I'm psyched with that.

  • Stacy Houston