Slalom star Kristoffersen holds off Hirscher challenge

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Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen narrowly beat rival Marcel Hirscher of Austria for the second year running at Madonna di Campiglio in the third men's slalom event of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup season.

Although Kristoffersen missed the first slalom of the campaign due to a sponsorship issue, he impressed and won at Val d'Isere earlier in December and was once again in top form on Thursday.

Defending slalom champion Kristoffersen posted a flat 48-second effort on his first run, 0.23 seconds faster than Hirscher, as it became clear that the win was going to be contested between the duo.

Last year Hirscher narrowly avoided a nasty collision with a camera drone but there were no such near-misses this time around, as he posted an excellent 46.03s on his smooth second run.

But Kristoffersen proved his class with a 45.93s run shortly after, taking his overall time to 1:33.93, leaving five-time reigning world champion Hirscher (+0.33s) beaten in second.

Italians Stefano Gross (+1.35s) and Manfred Moelgg (+1.45s) followed the leading pair, while Sweden's Andre Myhrer (+1.53s) and Daniel Yule (+1.56s) logged strong times to close out the top six.

The competitors are back in action in Santa Caterina on December 27 for three days, while the next slalom event takes place in Zagreb on January 5.