Friday, February 15, 2013

Shiffrin debuts at worlds in giant slalom

Julia Mancuso, 28, of Squaw Valley, Ca. races down the course competing in the 2013 Alpine FIS Ski World Championships giant slalom Feb. 14 at Schladming, Aust. Photo by Mitchell Gunn/ESPA

Still a month shy of her 18th birthday, Mikaela Shiffrin of Eagle-Vail, Co. had an impressive debut in her first major championship event finishing a career best sixth in giant slalom Thursday at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria.

First-run leader Tessa Worley of France was a runaway gold medalist taking the title by 1.12 seconds over Tina Maze of Slovenia with Anna Fenninger of Austria third.

Fifth after the first run, Shiffrin knived the bottom to score her best international GS finish ever. She dropped back mid-course then came charging back with an aggressive line on the steep bottom face to make up over a half second.

World Super G bronze medalist Julia Mancuso, 28, of Squaw Valley, Ca. closed her sixth World Championships with 22nd.

Said Shiffrin, “It felt different than a normal World Cup start because I had really good training and had a lot of confidence going into the race. But in the end, it was just me, my skis and red-and-blue gates. It was loud but it helps me get down because the crowd has so much energy.

“I felt like I skied both runs really well at the bottom and just kind of solid at the top. I could have been faster. I was searching for that place where I can take my training into the race. In training I tend to get better top to bottom. I go out of the start in a race and have to figure out how to get six training runs into one race run. It’s a little bit mind boggling but I love racing.

“I feel a little bit of pressure but it doesn’t distract me. But I don’t let it bother me. It’s just racing and I’ve done it so many times that I can’t possibly be disappointed. It’s the best GS result of my career and I’m really happy about that, but I know I can do better.”

Mancuso said, “It’s exciting to see the success of the team. Everyone is skiing well. Everyone asks why we do so well but I think it’s just because we think of everything like it’s about the skiing. It's not like we have to get a medal on these races—you just go out and do your best and try to win.

“It’s really about wanting to win—look at Ted, he doesn't just want to get a medal, he wants to win. And he’s having awesome runs. Mikaela is just a really solid skier and this hill suits her. It will be interesting to see her slalom after the result today in GS.”

Here is the remaining world schedule:

Feb. 15, men’s giant slalom.

Feb. 16, women’s slalom.

Feb. 17, men’s slalom.



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