Hirscher secures overall title as Zenhaeusern wins slalom

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia — Marcel Hirscher wrapped up his eighth consecutive men’s World Cup overall title on Sunday, one week before the season ends.

The Austrian placed third in the penultimate slalom of the season, extending his lead to 509 points over second-place Alexis Pinturault of France, with only four events at next week’s World Cup Finals remaining. A race win is worth 100 points.

Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway is another 11 points further back in third.

Clinching the title was a formality for Hirscher as Pinturault is unlikely to start in Wednesday’s downhill at the finals in Andorra, leaving the Frenchman with just three more races to score points.

Sunday’s race was won by Ramon Zenhaeusern of Switzerland ahead of first-run leader Kristoffersen, while Pinturault finished seventh.

By winning the big crystal globe again, Hirscher has matched the World Cup record of 20 overall and discipline titles set by Lindsey Vonn, who won four overall, eight downhill, five super-G and three combined titles before retiring last month.

Hirscher already held the record for most overall championships as no other skier, male or female, has won more than six in the 53-year history of the World Cup.

Hirscher locked up the discipline titles in slalom and giant slalom weeks ago, winning both rankings for the sixth time in his career.

On a weakened course after days of mild temperatures and rain, Zenhaeusern posted the fastest second-run time to improve from his seventh place in the opening leg.

It was the Swiss skier’s third career victory, but first in a slalom. Both previous triumphs came in parallel city events in Stockholm, in February and a year ago.

Kristoffersen built a big lead in the opening run but struggled and lost time early in his final run, preventing him from getting back-to-back victories on the hill after winning a giant slalom on Saturday.

Kristoffersen has won 15 slaloms in his career but none since triumphing in Kitzbuehel in January 2018.

Hirscher, who won 12 of the previous 16 World Cup slaloms, trailed by more than eight-tenths in sixth before winning three places in a strong second run.

The next event is Wednesday’s downhill at the World Cup Finals.

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The Associated Press

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