Women's Winter Sport: Petra Vlhova starts 2020 with victory over Mikaela Shiffrin

Petra Vlhova brought Mikaela Shiffrin’s almost year-long winning streak to an end as she took home the crown in the World Cup slalom event in Zagreb, Croatia.

Vlhova brought Shiffrin’s run of seven slalom World Cup victories to an end beating the American by 1.31seconds, the biggest victory margin over Shiffrin since November 2014.

Following her victory, Vlhova said: “Some days, I am so-so. With Miki, you have to be always perfect. If I want to win, I have to risk all the time.”

Shiffrin trailed the Slovakian by 1.16 seconds after the opening run which was the largest gap the American had faced in almost three years. She was unable to make back time she lost after a slip in the first run left her needing to steady herself with a hand on the ground after she slipped coming off a gate.

Following the result, Shiffrin explained she felt Vhlova was the better skier this time around and that despite her mistake the Slovakian would have been tough to beat.

“Even if I had no mistake, I think Petra would have been faster,” she said.

“The only way I could have won is if she skied out or made some really, really big mistake. … That’s not something special for her. She’s able to do that. It wasn’t like she had the best run of her life. She just skied really well. I think she can do this again and again and again.”

“Since Petra has been much stronger these last few years, that definitely brings my motivation to another level,” Shiffrin said on Saturday.

“They are one of the few teams who have been able to, in a way, outdo what I have been able to accomplish with my team. I have a lot of respect for that.

“If we weren’t competitors, we would be really good friends. But there’s also this side, you have to stay just far enough away that you can keep the fire.”

Vhlova still trails defending overall champion Shiffrin in the world standings by 313 points but will be looking to continue 2020 will more wins to put increasing pressure on the American.

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