Shiffrin bounces back with Lienz giant slalom victory

Lienz (Austria) (AFP) –


Mikaela Shiffrin claimed a 63rd alpine skiing World Cup win on Saturday with a convincing victory in the giant slalom at Lienz, where she finished over a second ahead of her rivals.

Bouncing back from a 17th place slump in Courchevel last week the defending overall champion sped nervily down the icy Schlossberg slope in Austria's East Tyrol to post the fastest time on both runs.

The 24-year-old American was a comfortable 1.36sec ahead of Italy's Marta Bassino after the two runs with Austria's home hope Katharina Liensberger in third.

On the podium Shiffrin punched the air and kissed her skis before the runners up hoisted her arms in the air in a jubilant atmosphere in downtown Lienz.

"It's pretty hard to believe this right now, I know that sounds strange but it is," a joyous Shiffrin told Eurosport.

"It sounds a little bit stupid to say that the last week was a tough time because I've still had already an amazing season ... it's stupid really, but I care and it was tough.

"It was amazing to ski today, really excited. I'm excited!"

Shiffrin extends her lead at the top of the overall World Cup standings to 215 points ahead of Italian Federica Brignone, who sits top of the giant slalom standings despite finishing fourth on Saturday.

The win for Shiffrin, who has taken the last three overall titles, moves her one ahead of retired Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell for individual women's World Cup victories.

She is closing in on men's skiing legend Marcel Hirscher's total of 67 but still has some way to go to catch compatriot Lindsey Vonn, who racked up 82 wins before hanging up her skis at the end of last season.