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Hirscher storms to night slalom victory

© AFP | Austria's Marcel Hirscher competes during the men's slalom event in Schladming, Austria on January 23, 2018

SCHLADMING (AUSTRIA) (AFP) - 

Home favourite Marcel Hirscher produced a blistering second run to pip Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen to victory in Tuesday's World Cup night slalom race at Schladming.

The Austrian led by just two tenths of a second after the opening run and stormed to the quickest second effort of the evening to win by 0.39 seconds.

The 28-year-old, who is bidding for a seventh consecutive overall World Cup crown, extended his lead at the top of the overall standings to 174 points from Kristoffersen.

The Norwegian had beaten Hirscher in Kitzbuehel on Sunday, but he responded in style to the delight of a large home crowd.

The 54th win of his World Cup career draws Hirscher level with Austrian great Hermann Maier in second place on the men's all-time list, behind only Ingemar Stenmark's mark of 86 victories.

A ninth success of the season, six of which have come in the slalom and three in giant slalom, also laid down a marker ahead of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where Hirscher will bid for his maiden Olympic gold medal.

Switzerland's Daniel Yule, 24, came third for the second time in three days, having never previously finished on a World Cup podium.

Earlier on Tuesday, Schladming and fellow Austrian resort Graz had announced they are planning a joint bid to host the 2026 Winter Games.

© 2018 AFP