MERIBEL, France (Reuters) - Marcel Hirscher completed a clean sweep at the Alpine skiing World Cup Finals on Sunday when he added the slalom crystal globe to his fourth successive overall title.
The Austrian, crowned overall World Cup champion after Saturday’s giant slalom, dominated the final race of the season to topple Germany’s Felix Neureuther from the top spot in the discipline. Hirscher clinched his eighth victory of the winter in a combined time of one minute and 33.53 seconds, 0.83 ahead of former slalom Olympic champion Giuliano Razzoli of Italy while Russia’s Alexander Khoroshilov was third, 1.09 adrift.
He beat Neureuther by 23 points to end the season with three crystal globes — overall, giant slalom and slalom — and a sweep of the technical disciplines.
“I didn’t have the choice. I needed to finish first or second to beat Felix. So the tactics were pretty simple,” said Hirscher.
“Felix and I are very good friends and that’s why I can’t rejoice completely. It’s the third time I took the cup away from him under his nose,” he added.
“Marcel, when he skis like that, and it’s the finals and it’s about the globe, he’s difficult to beat,” said Neureuther, who cited lingering back problems to explain his disappointing 12th place in Sunday’s slalom.
In the final overall standings, the best skier of the last four seasons eventually left closest rival Kjetil Jansrud of Norway 160 points behind.
Jansrud had decided not to take part in Sunday’s slalom, effectively handing Hirscher the season’s overall title, but took the downhill and Super-G crowns.
Writing by Francois Thomazeau, editing by Alan Baldwin