Hirscher wins to clinch World Cup giant-slalom title


Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) (AFP)

Austrian Marcel Hirscher won the giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Saturday to seal a fifth World Cup title in the discipline and move closer to a historic seventh overall crown.

Hirscher, who won gold in the event at the Pyeongchang Olympics, finished his two runs in an aggregate time of 2min 20.76sec to outclass Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen by 1.66sec and Frenchman Alexis Pinturault by 2.51sec.

Hirscher increased his lead in the overall competition to 269 points over his only rival, Kristoffersen.

"Marcel is in a category of his own. I tried to attack in the second run, but I made a big mistake, that's life," said Kristoffersen, who is also second to Hirscher in both the slalom and giant slalom, the only events the young Norwegian races.

"I take the races one at a time, and try not to succumb to the pressure," Hirscher said.

Having won a small crystal globe for the giant slalom, the Austrian can clinch the larger one awarded to the overall champion if he does not make any serious mistakes in the slalom on Sunday.

Because he only skis in two events, Kristofferson would not be able make up a deficit of more than 200 points in the season's final stop at Are in Sweden.

Austrian Hirscher, who turned 29 on Friday, won for the 11th time this season and the 56th time in his career.