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Austria's Marcel Hirscher competes during a men's giant slalom at the alpine ski World Cup finals in Are, Sweden, Saturday, March 17, 2018.

Champs Shiffrin, Hirscher lead season-ending races

Sat, March 17, 2018 18:06

ARE, Sweden, March 17, 2018 (AP) - Overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin closed in on a record-equaling eighth slalom victory of the season on Saturday by building a commanding lead in the first run at the World Cup finals.
The American led Bernadette Schild of Austria by 0.49 seconds and Petra Vlhova of Slovakia by 0.55, while Olympic slalom champion Frida Hansdotter of Sweden had 0.84 to make up in the second run.
Shiffrin, who secured her fifth slalom season title last week, could match Janica Kostelic's best mark from the 2000-01 season, when the Croatian great won eight races in the discipline.
Earlier, Olympic champion Marcel Hirscher took the lead in the opening run of the last men's giant slalom of the season.
The Austrian nearly skied out after catching a bump halfway down his run but still finished 0.50 seconds ahead of Victor Muffat-Jeandet of France. Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway was 0.59 behind in third, with Zan Kranjec of Slovenia a further 0.08 back in fourth.

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