Sunday, March 4, 2018

Marcel Hirscher Wins Slalom in Kranjska Gora and takes His 7th Overall Crystal Globe

Another historic day in Kranjska Gora, with Marcel Hirscher winning the slalom and securing both the slalom and the overall globe. Henrik Kristoffersen finishes second and Ramon Zenhäusern takes the third spot on the podium.
Seven in a row! Seven seasons that Marcel Hirscher skis at a level that no one ever imagined, being stable, constant and strong as only very few legends before him. With his slalom win in Kranjska Gora today, Marcel Hirscher extended his lead in overall standings to 289 points, a gap that his closest contender Henrik Kristoffersen cannot close with only two tech races to go before the end of the season. He also secured the slalom standings, bringing his crystal globe collection to 17, only trailing Ingemar Stenmark who claimed 19.
"Incredible. You can't believe it's possible," he said after becoming the first skier in the 51-year history of the World Cup to win seven overall titles. No other male skier has won more than five, and fellow Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell won six times on the women's circuit in the 1970s.His performance in today’s slalom was solid. Despite the fact that he didn’t finish his last race in this discipline (at the Olympics in PyeongChang), Marcel Hirscher had a clear game plan going into the “tricky” slalom on Podkoren and didn’t lose focus despite knowing that Kristoffersen had a great second run.
"This is so surreal, I can't believe it," said Hirscher, who also locked up the slalom and GS titles this weekend, two weeks before the season-ending races in Sweden.
"Now I am going for one week vacation to Are," he quipped. "That is always really nice because the stress has gone away."
"With all the problems before the season started, with the broken ankle, it is... I can't find the right words. It is very surreal (...) The summer really wasn't easy. It went from a possible end of career to my best season," said Hirscher.The Norwegian did the best he could on this day, but as for the 10th time this season, he had to declare himself happy with a second place. A very strong season for Kristoffersen, who claimed not less than 14th podiums. An impressive mark, topped by the win of the slalom in Kitzbuehel.
Kristoffersen, who performed a deep bow to Hirscher at the prize giving ceremony after Sunday's race, called the Austrian "the best ski racer in the world."
"So it's OK for me to be second. At the moment he is just better, so it's OK when he wins the slalom globe, the GS globe, the overall globe," Kristoffersen said.Switzerland’s Ramon Zenhaeusern found his groove in January and is carrying his momentum through the end of the season, scoring successively his first World Cup win in the city event in Oslo, his first Olympic medals (silver in slalom and gold in the team event) and now confirming his excellent shape on the World Cup in his core discipline the slalom. With this performance, the two-meter tall athlete makes his entrance in the Top 7 group of the discipline.

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