Schild sets slalom record
Overcoming several injury-plagued seasons, Marlies Schild of Austria finally set the best mark for most World Cup slalom victories in Lienz, Austria, on Sunday by winning her 35th race to overtake Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider on top of the all-time list. The 32-year-old Schild is a four-time World Cup slalom champion, but she missed a host of races after breaking a leg in 2008 and then tore ligaments last year. That meant she was stuck on 33 slalom wins for close to two years until winning in Courchevel, France, this month. Schild got her record-setting win in impressive style. Lying 0.69 seconds behind in sixth after the opening leg, she used a blistering second run to finish in 1 minute, 55.63 seconds and beat US teenager Mikaela Shiffrin, who led the competition after the first run. Shiffrin finished 0.41 behind. Olympic slalom champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany was third, 0.63 behind Schild.
Svindal wins in Bormio
Aksel Lund Svindal is skiing as if he is on cruise control. Hard or soft, sunny or dark, the Norwegian just keeps on winning. However, for Bode Miller and the rest of the US ski team, this World Cup season has been a different story in downhill. While Miller’s form has improved in recent weeks, he took a step backward in Bormio, Italy, on Sunday, when he finished 35th in a race won with a perfect run from Svindal. Svindal mastered the fresh snow conditions on the Stelvio course for his fourth victory of the Olympic season, with just 40 days to go to the Sochi Games. The Norwegian clocked 1 minute, 54.08 seconds to finish 0.39 seconds ahead of Hannes Reichelt of Austria. Erik Guay of Canada placed third, 0.51 back, for a strong follow-up to his downhill victory in Val Gardena a week ago.
Ammann wins at Four Hills
Switzerland’s defending Olympic champion Simon Ammann won the first event of the Four Hills World Cup event in Oberstdorf, Germany on Sunday. Ammann, who picked up double Olympic gold at Salt Lake City in 2002 and repeated the feat at Vancouver 2010, built his success on a massive first leap before protecting the advantage to finish ahead of Norway’s Anders Bardal, while Slovenian Peter Prevc and Austrian Thomas Diethart finished joint third. The 32-year-old Ammann, who also competed at the 1998 Nagano Olympics at the age of 16, finished with a score of 301.9 points after an opening jump of 139m and edged Bardal, who finished on 297.9 points, with Prevc and Diehart just 0.6 points further back. Four Hills holder and six-time world champion Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria could only manage ninth place, while World Cup leader Kamil Stoch of Poland settled for 13th spot.
Davis wins 1,000m at trials
Shani Davis will be heading to Sochi aiming to win a third gold medal in the 1,000m, an event he describes as “one of my babies.” The two-time defending Olympic champion edged Brian Hansen by a hundredth of a second to win at the US speedskating trials in Kearns, Utah, on Sunday. Davis has locked up at least two events in Sochi, also claiming a spot in the 500m, and is favored in the still-to-come 1,500m, the other of his “babies” and the race that produced silver medals in Turin and Vancouver. In addition, there is a chance he will take part in the team pursuit, a race he passed on at previous Olympics because he did not want to affect preparations for his individual events.