Sunday, January 4, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin Dominates Zagreb Slalom


Mikaela Shiffrin was in a league of her own today as she clocked the fastest time in both runs and won the race by an astonishing 1.68 seconds ahead of Austrian Kathrin Zettel who finished second for a third time in Croatia. In third place today, Norwegian Nina Loseth earned her first career’s podium by finishing 2.79 seconds behind the winner Shiffrin.
Conditions were tough for the ladies today on Sljeme and the slick and icy surface and tricky layouts of the course proved too much for the 25 racers in the first run and eight in the second who didn’t make it through the finish line.
But the top ladies didn’t seem troubled by the ice and showcased some impressive skills and Shiffrin particularly seemed to have lots of fun coming down the Crveni Spust.
"This felt incredible, its such a tough and long hill but they prepare it so well and make it really fun. I was trying not to focus on the lead I had in the first run and just going for it all. It was really icy and I love that kind of surface, my skis were holding up amazing. The hill really held up for everybody so I think it was a really fair race, I’m so glad to be back in Zagreb", Shiffrin said moments after crossing the finish line.
Loseth shares Shiffrin’s enthusiasm regarding the course and she has results to prove how much it suits her. In the six editions of the race she started she might have failed to finish the first run on three occasions but on the other three her placements were 5th, 4th and today finally a podium.
"I love it here, they do such good preparation on the hill and like that it’s a long hill. The crowd is always great as well; I really like it here in Zagreb", Loseth said.
Loseth earned her first top 10 finish in 2006 and but struggled over the years to bring consistency to her skiing, until today when she said things finally ‘clicked’ and all the hard work paid off.
"I have been working really hard, very step-by-step though but I have always known the road I was going on and it took patience. Now it’s finally good to see that I have ben doing the right things, even though it took me some six years longer than I anticipated to get to a result like today’s – but it’s surely better late than never", she said jokingly.

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