US Teen Shiffrin Leads 1st Run Of Olympic Slalom

Mikaela Shiffrin

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin took the lead in the first leg of the Olympic slalom on Friday.

Shiffrin handled the soft snow best and finished 0.49 seconds faster than defending champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany. Tina Maze of Slovenia was third fastest, trailing 0.67 behind Shiffrin’s time of 52.62 seconds.

Austrian veteran Marlies Schild, Shiffrin’s main rival for gold, was 1.34 back in sixth. Schild, however, prefers icy conditions.

The racers skied under floodlights in the fading late-afternoon light. The second run is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. (2015 GMT).

At 18, Shiffrin would be the youngest Olympic slalom champion; Hoefl-Riesch is seeking a record-equaling fourth career gold; and Maze can equal the record of three Alpine golds at one Winter Games.

Source: Associated Press