Marco Odermatt celebrates making his point in style on Saturday
Soldeu (Andorra) (AFP) - Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt broke Hermann Maier’s men’s World Cup ski points record on Saturday after dominating the giant slalom at the season finals in Andorra.
Odermatt’s 13th win of the elite circuit season took his points tally to 2042, to pass Maier’s mark of 2,000 that had stood for 23 years.
“I would be ready to party, but I don’t know any more if I have the energy because I am really, really empty,” he told the sport’s official website.
Already guaranteed the overall World Cup crystal globe for the second year running, Odermatt, 25, only needed to finish third to surpass the points haul set by the now-retired Austrian legend.
But the reigning Olympic giant slalom champion made history in style taking 100 points for a win, topping the times in 2min 19.64sec, more than two seconds clear of Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen with Austrian Marco Schwarz a further half a second back in third.
Despite poor visibility and far from ideal snow conditions he led the first run by 1.09 from Alexis Pinturault, who had to settle for eighth in the end.
After being generously applauded by rivals and fans alike the man of the season said: “I have no idea how I won. I was so tired.
“Today wasn’t easy because of those damn 2,000 points. I really wanted the podium today. So, another victory, two seconds ahead, I don’t know what to say!”
He added the record had meant more to him than he had let on.
“The past days I said it was not so important, just numbers. The important things are globes, but now I felt the pressure today. So I knew it was more important than I said, so I am happy I got it.”
- Shiffrin third -
The 13th World Cup win (seven giant slaloms and six super-Gs) of the campaign drew him level with three ski greats - Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark, who reached that tally in 1979, Maier (2001) and Marcel Hirscher (2018).
On top of a superb World Cup campaign - he also took the giant slalom and super-G titles - Odermatt last month picked up gold medals in the giant slalom and downhill at the World Ski Championships in France.
The all-time World Cup points record is held by Slovenia’s Tina Maze, who ended the 2013 women’s season with a haul of 2,414.
The men’s season concludes on Sunday with the final slalom race.
Matching Odermatt’s 13 wins this term was Mikaela Shiffrin, who had to settle for third behind Olympic champion Petra Vlhova in Saturday’s final slalom on the women’s circuit.
Vlhova led after the first run and the Slovakian secured her second victory of the season as she finished 0.43 seconds ahead of the Croatian Leona Popovic, who won her first podium on the main circuit.
Vlhova rules the final slalom of the season
In changing weather conditions, Vlhova was able to take advantage of a late ray of sunshine to end a difficult season well, having left the world championships in Meribel in February without a medal.
Shiffrin, who was already assured of the overall World Cup title and the small slalom globe before the race, was fourth at the halfway point behind Anna Swenn Larsson.
The Swede, however, failed to finish her second run, promoting Shiffrin to the podium 0.86sec behind Vlhova.
The American is the favourite for the last race of the season on Sunday, a giant slalom, where she could improve her record of 87 World Cup victories.