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American Mikaela Shiffrin settles for bronze medal in slalom at world ski championships


CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — American Mikaela Shiffrin had her winning streak in slalom at world championships ended by Katharina Liensberger on Saturday as the title returned to Austria after 10 years.

Shiffrin had to settle for bronze after earning slalom gold at a record four straight worlds since Marlies Raich — competing under her maiden name Schild — won it in 2011.

This time, Shiffrin finished 1.98 seconds behind Liensberger, who posted the fastest times in both runs. Petra Vlhova, the overall and slalom World Cup leader from Slovakia, was one second behind the Austrian for silver.

After her triumph in Tuesday’s parallel event, Liensberger became a double world champion, but she has yet to win on the World Cup circuit.

“I really gave it all today,” Liensberger said. “I worked so hard for it, every single day in preparation. It’s amazing that it all comes back. If you really want something, the whole universe, it’s just happening for you.”

Shiffrin earlier won gold in the combined event and took silver in giant slalom after opening the worlds with bronze in super-G. It made her only the fifth female skier to win four medals at one worlds, and first since Swedish standout Anja Parson achieved the feat 14 years ago.

“It’s incredible,” Shiffrin said. “I don’t think there was ever a time where I could have said ‘I win four medals in one world championships.’ But it’s one thing to sort of dream about getting the medals, but in the moment when it counts, having good enough skiing to do it, especially for the world championships to do it four times, is really special.”

Shiffrin’s previous world title came in her record-breaking World Cup 2018-19 season, winning 17 races on the road to her third overall title.

This season is a different one for the American. She took a 10-month break from racing last year after the death of her father, Jeff Shiffrin, which was followed by the coronavirus pandemic and a back injury.

“If this was last year, I would be maybe disappointed but not as grateful for the good moments in the day,” Shiffrin said. “Maybe ‘normal’ is just going to be changing all the time. I have a different opinion of what normal means now. Here, in these last two weeks, every day had something really special, and it’s something to smile about.”

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