Schild secures place in slalom history

Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:07am EST
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By Manuele Lang

LIENZ, Austria (Reuters) - Austria's Marlies Schild became the all-time leader of World Cup slalom victories with her 35th success secured on home snow in Lienz on Sunday.

The former world champion, who overtook the 34 wins of Swiss Vreni Schneider, followed up her victory in Courchevel on December 17 by topping a podium comprising the very best slalom specialists of the decade.

American Mikaela Schiffrin, who dethroned Schild at the world championships in Schladming last season, was second 0.41 seconds adrift, while Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany was third.

"It's hard to believe but now for sure the record is mine," Schild said.

"I must admit I felt relieved after Courchevel. I needed to break the jinx. It was making me nervous in the end. Everybody was talking about the record.

"I even noticed in training that there was a before and after Courchevel. I'm much more relaxed now."

Schild signaled her return to form in the French resort of Courchevel - her first victory in nearly two years.

The Austrian, who tore knee ligaments in December 2012 in Are, had been usurped at the top of her sport by Shiffrin, who took advantage of her absence to win the world title and the slalom World Cup globe.   Continued...

Austria's Marlies Schild celebrates after winning the women's giant slalom World Cup race in the Tyrolean ski resort of Lienz December 29, 2013. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger