Sweden's Anna Swenn Larsson won the women's World Cup slalom in the absence of the injured duo Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova
Soldeu (Andorra) (AFP) - Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson won the women’s World Cup slalom at Soldeu becoming the first skier apart from injured duo of American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin and Olympic champion Petra Vlhova to win a race in the discipline this season.
“It’s sad that two queens are not here but I’m so happy to grab a victory,” said Swenn Larsson, who became the first woman other than Shiffrin or Vlhova to win a World Cup slalom in over a year.
Swenn Larsson posted the fastest time in the first leg and rammed home her advantage in the second run to time 35 hundredths of a second faster than second-placed Croatian skier Zrinka Ljutic.
The 32-year-old Swede collapsed in the snow in delight after achieving her first outright World Cup race on her 140th start, having shared victory with Swiss Wendy Holdener in Killington last season.
“It’s a dream come true and even if it was so nice to share the first victory with Wendy, it’s special to stand on the top by yourself as well,” said Swenn Larsson.
The Swede had a difficult start to the season and had not finished higher than 15th in the first four slalom races and failed to make the second run in the second race in Levi.
“From not qualifying in Levi to standing on the top (of the podium), it’s amazing,” she said. “It’s a journey and I’m so proud of myself.”
Shiffrin’s compatriot Paula Moltzan finished third, 83 hundredths of a second slower than the winner in the Pyrenees.
The two injured stars were both missing from the same World Cup slalom race for the first time in nearly 13 years, opening up the possibility of a first-time winner, which Ljutic almost became.
Shiffrin, who has five wins in the discipline this season, missed Soldeu as she recovers from a knee injury.
Shiffrin holds a commanding lead in the slalom World Cup standings – second-placed Vlhova is 125 points behind but the Slovak three-time winner this season has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign due to injury.
However, Shiffrin will have work to do when she returns to clinch a sixth overall World Cup crown.
On Saturday, in-form Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami leap-frogged her at the top of the standings with victory in the giant slalom.
There remain two more slalom races on the calendar this season, in Are, Sweden, on March 10 and six days later at the Austrian resort of Saalbach, where the World Cup finals take place.