Slovakia's Vlhova leads after first slalom run at Levi

Helsinki (AFP) –


Racing in mist and fog Slovakia's Petra Vlhova snatched first place from the American Mikaela Shiffrin over the first run of the World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland, on Saturday.

The 24-year-old, who came second overall in last season’s world cup, finished the first run in 58.65 seconds. She began her descent slower than favourite Shiffrin, but gained time over the second half of the run to knock 0.13 seconds off the American’s pace.

Austria’s Katharina Truppe finished third in 59.64 seconds.

Shiffrin has won the World Cup slalom title in each of the last three seasons and six times in the last seven.

Despite the fog at the top of the course, this year's slope at Levi is in 'optimal' condition according to the FIS, thanks in part to cold weather and heavy snowfall in Lapland.