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Snow scuppers Sochi downhill, absent Shiffrin set for title

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Moscow (AFP)

Mikaela Shiffrin will be the big winner at weather-hit Sochi this weekend even in her absence as the American ski sensation is destined to secure her third World Cup crystal globe.

The runaway overall leader is 719 points clear of Petra Vlhova who has also decided to skip this leg of the World Cup staged at the Russian ski station which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.

After Sochi there are only six events of the season remaining with a maximum 600 points at stake so Shiffrin can't be beaten.

Organisers on Friday were forced to cancel Saturday's downhill at Sochi's Rosa Khutor slope due to heavy snowfall.

The super-G scheduled for Sunday will now take place Saturday. Teams' representatives are to meet to discuss the staging of a second super-G on Sunday.

Russian alpine ski federation spokeswoman Olga Laeva told AFP: "The snow cover along the course is uneven. It's too dangerous to stage a downhill race under such weather and the course conditions."

Shiffrin won two gold medals at last month's world championships, and powered to a record-equalling 14th win of the World Cup season in Stockholm on February 19.

The 23-year-old will resume her bid to surpass Vreni Schneider's mark of 14 wins in a campaign, set in 1988/89, at Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic on March 8.

Her decision to skip Crans-Montana last weekend and Sochi means she is unable to break Tina Maze's all-time record points tally set in 2012/13.

The Slovenian accumulated 2,414 points that year, and the maximum Shiffrin can now reach is 2,394.

af/nr/cw

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