Alpine Skiing

Marcel Hirscher wins record-tying seventh world title... but it could be his last

Two-time Olympic champion hints that he may have raced his final World Championships after slalom victory.

Marcel Hirscher won a record-equalling seventh World Championships gold medal with victory in the men's slalom in Are, but then hinted he might retire this year.

The two-time Olympic champion led an Austrian 1-2-3 at the final race in Sweden on Sunday (17th February).

The success drew him level with compatriot Toni Sailer as the male skier with the most career world titles.

Only three other skiers, all female, have at least seven golds from the Worlds to their name: Christl Cranz, Marielle Goitschel, and Anja Pärson.

It was also Hircher's 11th career World Championships medal, just one behind Norwegian legend Kjetil Andre Aamodt.

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The 29-year-old blitzed down the course in an aggressive first run, taking over a second off previous leader Henrik Kristoffersen's time, and eventually finishing more than half a second ahead of closest challenger Alexis Pinturault.

Hirscher went out quickly at the start of the second run and appeared to be tiring towards the end of the course, but held it together to win by 0.65 seconds.

"Maybe my last World Champs"

Speaking to FIS after the race, Hirscher hinted that he might not be in Cortina d'Ampezzo in two years to defend his title.

"It's really unbelievable, after 2013 and 2017 and now 2019, maybe my last World Champs.

"I knew that Alexis wasn't in the lead so in the start I tried to push really hard, there were two or three gates where I was bumpy.

"My whole team made it possible, they worked really hard to bring me here."

He later told a media conference that this could even be his last season.

"Ten more races are waiting for me [this season], so we will see, take a break and things will be way clearer than right now."

Austria sweep the medals

Hirscher's teammate Michael Matt, the PyeongChang 2018 bronze medallist, clinched silver, while Marco Schwarz completed the Austrian medal sweep.

It was the second medal of the Championships for Matt and the third for Schwarz, who were part of Austria's silver-winning team in the nations' event. Schwarz also claimed bronze in the Combined.

Frenchman Pinturault, normally a giant slalom specialist, was in second after the first run but a mistake midway through his second saw him finish off the podium.

PyeongChang Olympic champion and Swedish home favourite Andre Myhrer could only finish 13th.

The men's slalom concluded the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships.

There were five different winners in each men's event. In addition to Hirscher victory, Pinturault won the Alpine combined, Norwegian Kristoffersen took the giant slalom gold, Kjetil Jansrud led a Norway one-two in the downhill, and Italy's Dominik Paris clinched Super-G honours.

Mikaela Shiffrin was the big winner in the women's events, taking home two gold medals from Are.

The nations' team event was won by Olympic champions Switzerland.

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