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SHIFFRIN SLIPS UP IN SLALOM - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Thursday February 15, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The American Mikaela Shiffrin failed to get on the podium in the Olympic slalom a day after her gold in the giant slalom.

Shiffrin's list of career achievements and skiing records makes it hard to believe that she's still only 22.

And she got her 2018 Olympic campaign under way in impressive style, winning in the giant slalom on Thursday.

But 24-hours later she was unable to repeat the feat in her favoured event, the slalom.

The defending champion from Sochi finished outside the medals in fourth.

It was a huge shock.

She had won five of the seven World Cup slalom races she started this season and was the strong favourite.

Mikaela ShiffrinMikaela Shiffrin - photo US Ski & Snowboard Team

The race was won by Sweden's Frida Hansdotter.  Switzerland's Wendy Holdener was second and Katharina Gallhuber of Austria third.

In the weather-delayed giant slalom in Pyeongchang on Thursday she was second after the first run, 0.20 seconds behind Italy's Manuela Moelgg.

As the top 30 go in reverse order, Shiffrin was the penultimate racer on the course and went into the gold medal position.

Mikaela ShiffrinShiffrin ready to go in run 2

Moelgg made mistakes on her run and could only finish eighth.

Mikaela ShiffrinMikaela Shiffrin learns she's the champion

Norway's Ragnild Mowinckel was second and Federica Brignone of Italy third.

Women's GS Olympic podiumWomen's giant slalom podium

At Sochi four years ago Shiffrin became the youngest alpine skier - woman or man - to win gold in the slalom.

She was due to compete in every discipline in Pyeongchang but has pulled out of the Super G (which would have been her third race in three days).

She will now go in the downhill and alpine combined.

Shiffrin in the Olympic GSOne gold down, more to come?

Shiffrin was 16 when she first stood on a World Cup podium and went on to become the first US skier to win two World Cup races before she was 18.

At the 2017 World Championships in St. Moritz, she became the first female alpine skier in 78 years to win three consecutive world championship slalom titles.

Her first overall World Cup title in 2017 made her the third female US alpine skier to have won an overall World Cup title.

PlanetSKI's editor James Cove spoke spoke to her back in 2012 when she was 16:

The women's GS was the second alpine event to take place on Thursday.

The men's downhill finally took place after being postponed on Sunday.

It was won by Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway who, at 35, became the oldest alpine skier to win an Olympic title.

His teammate Kjetil Jansrud was second and Beat Feuz (Switzerland) third.

Olympic downhill podiumJansrud, Svindal, Feuz

More news from day six (Thursday 15th)....

Alpine -  Women's Giant Slalom

GB's Alex Tilley also competed in the women's GS.  She looked on course to post a good first run time before coming unstuck and crashing out midway down.

“It’s mixed emotions; I’m happy to finally compete at the Olympics but I’m really disappointed with the result,” she said.  “It was a rookie error but you’ve got to take risks."


Britain's Olympic newcomer AnnikaTaylor finished 75th in the women's 10km in a time of 30:52.09, just under six minutes behind gold medallist, Norway's Ragnhild Haga.

"That was a solid race but my goal was top 30," Taylor said.

"Unfortunately things haven't quite gone my way this year but that's only making me motivated because I know I have it in me."

Men's skeleton

GB's Dom Parsons has put himself in contention for a medal.  After the first two heats he's just three hundredths of a second off a podium position in fourth place.

**UPDATE FRIDAY AM:  Dom Parsons has won the bronze!

Dom ParsonsDom Parsons pushing off in heat 2

Highlights coming up on day seven (Friday 16th).....


Women's slalom with Mikaela Shiffrin and GB's Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest.

First run 10am  (1am GMT), second run 1.15pm (4.15am GMT)

**UPDATE FRIDAY AM: Mikaela Shiffrin fourth.   Charlie Guest had an impressive race, moving up from 42nd in her first run to finish 33rd. Alex Tilley failed to finish her first run.

Men's Super G at 11am (2am GMT)

**UPDATE FRIDAY AM:  The race was won by Austria's Matthias Mayer with the silver and bronze a mirror image of the downhill.  This time Beat Feuz of Switzerland took silver and Norway's Kjetil Jansrud bronze.

Cross country

Hopes are high for GB's Andrew Musgrave in the 15km free after his sensational seventh place in the 30km skiathlon on Sunday, the highest Olympic finish by a British cross-country skier by miles.
The 15km is Musgrave's favoured event and it's being raced in his favoured style of free skate rather than classic. 

His career best in the discipline is third at the World Cup at Toblach in Italy in December.  He also finished sixth in the 15km free stage of the Tour de Ski this season.

Musgrave will be joined by teammates Andrew Young and Callum Smith.

Andrew Young, Andrew Musgrave, Callum SmithYoung, Musgrave & Smith - photo Andrew Musgrave

Look out, too, for the Tongan Pita Taufatofua (he of opening ceremony bare-chested-oiled-torso fame).

He has told the BBC his ambition for the race is to "finish before they turn the lights off" and "don't ski into a tree".

It starts at 3pm (6am GMT)

**UPDATE FRIDAY AM:  It was huge disappointment for Musgrave, who finished 28th.

Women's snowboard cross

The qualifying and elimination rounds (for the top 24) take place with the most experienced Olympian in the Team GB squad lining up at the start. 

32-year-old Zoe Gillings-Brier is competing in her fourth Olympics. 

She was 15th in Turin, 8th in Vancouver and 9th in Sochi. She placed 9th at the 2017 World Championships. 

Snowboard cross, 2017 World ChampionshipsSnowboard cross, 2017 World Championships

Qualifying is at 10am (1am GMT) with elimination rounds starting at 12.15pm (3.15am GMT).

**UPDATE FRIDAY AM:  Zoe Gillings-Brier got through to the quarter-finals but just missed out on progressing to the semi-finals.  She finished in 13th place.

The American and World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis, who was looking for an elusive first Olympic gold, got through to the final but finished outside the medals in fourth.


The final two heats in the men's event will determine the podium positions with GB's Dom Parsons in with a good chance of picking up Britain's first medal of the Games.  He's lying in fourth after the first two heats.

Heat three is at 9.30am (00.30am GMT) and heat four at 11.15am (2.15am GMT).

**UPDATE FRIDAY PM:  Britain's first medal! See above.

The first two heats in the women's event also have taken place with the defending champion, GB's Lizzy Yarnold, and her teammate Laura Deas in strong positions.

They are lying third and fourth respectively with two final runs which will determine the medals on Saturday.

Lizzy YarnoldLizzy Yarnold - photo Andy J Ryan Team GB

Yarnold was Team GB's only gold medallist at Sochi four years ago and was chosen as the flagbearer for the Pyeongchang opening ceremony.

Read more of our stories from the Games.....

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