No repeat: Mikaela Shiffrin finishes fourth in slalom
Pyeongchang, South Korea — Frida Hansdotter held off Mikaela Shiffrin and the rest of a tightly bunched field to win the Olympic slalom title Friday at the Pyeongchang Games.
In second after the first run, the Swedish skier powered through the sun-splashed course on her final run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 38.63 seconds. First-run leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was second and Katharina Gallhuber of Austria earned a surprise bronze.
Shiffrin wound up fourth. The American standout won the Olympic slalom title four years ago in Sochi when she was only 18.
There were seven racers within a second of Holdener’s first-run time, with Hansdotter 0.20 seconds back. Gallhuber started her final run trailing by 1.23 seconds — a sizable gap to make up.
On her final run, Shiffrin didn’t have her usual charge. Before her first run, she wasn’t feeling so hot.
Shiffrin, who won the giant slalom the day before, was asked in an NBC interview about throwing up before stepping into the starting gate to start her slalom run.
“That was kind of sudden. It almost felt like a virus,” Shiffrin said, laughing. “Kind of puking, less about nerves. But we’ll see.”
She said she was a little drained after all the interviews and other commitments that followed her win in the giant slalom on Thursday. The medal ceremony didn’t start until about 8 p.m., and she didn’t get to bed until 10 p.m., which is very late for her these days.
“It was certainly not normal preparation, but I also knew going into these Olympics that it’s not normal races, it’s not normal preparation, so I have to be prepared for anything,” Shiffrin said. “I don’t think that, in and of itself, had a huge impact on my first run today.”
On Saturday, Lindsey Vonn will make her Pyeongchang Games debut in the super-G at the speed course in Jeongseon. Vonn missed the Sochi Games with a knee injury.
Vonn said on her Twitter account Friday: “Getting amped up! One day to go!!!”
Shiffrin will skip the super-G race.