Shiffrin handed slalom title after Velez-Zuzulova crash


Mikaela Shiffrin was crowned FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup slalom champion for the fourth time after Veronika Velez-Zuzulova crashed out in Saturday's first run in Squaw Valley.

Shiffrin held a 145-point lead over her Slovakian rival coming into the penultimate event of the season and after Velez-Zuzulova's skis went from underneath her during her opening descent, the American's fourth title in five years was confirmed.

Velez-Zuzulova was sixth out of the gate but her demise meant Shiffrin - immediately behind her in the order - set off knowing the crown was hers.

"I thought, 'OK, so now I have the globe. I still want to have a good race today'," said Shiffrin. "I was sort of struggling in my mind with how much effort I need to put into it, how much risk I needed to take."

As it transpired, Shiffrin celebrated her success in style - her combined time of one minute 39.48 seconds seeing her finish comfortably ahead of the rest of the field.

Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic was second, 1.03secs adrift, while Austria's Bernadette Schild (+1.08) rounded out the top three.

The final slalom event of the season takes place in Aspen next weekend.