Alpine Skiing

Mikaela Shiffrin wins historic fourth straight slalom world title

The American double Olympic champion claims victory in the final women's event in Are, Sweden.

Mikaela Shiffrin came from behind to clinch an historic women's slalom world title in Are, Sweden.

It was Shiffrin's fourth consecutive gold in the event, having won her first world title in Schladming, Austria, in 2013.

No other skier, male or female, has won the same event at four straight World Championships since the Worlds switched to a biennial schedule.

Shiffrin started slowly in her first run, but approached the finish aggressively to claw back time, eventually setting the third fastest time, 0.15 seconds behind leader Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.

The 23-year-old American then produced a stunning second run, where she was the only racer to clock under a minute.

It was enough for a victory that confirms what she told Olympic Channel in Are, that she's not feeling any additional pressure after the retirement of rival Lindsey Vonn.

Exclusive: Shiffrin on not feeling extra pressure after Vonn retirement

A fourth straight slalom world title proved she's still relaxed and the bes...

Double Olympic champ Shiffrin sat out the downhill, Alpine combined, and team events in Sweden, but still takes home three medals.

She claimed one in each of the three races she did compete in, having also won gold in Super-G and bronze in giant slalom, and now has five world titles to her name.

Shiffrin beats illness to win

Speaking to Eurosport after the race, Shiffrin revealed that she was unwell and struggling to breathe.

"I think that maybe I have a small infection in my lung and I've never really had this before. It's hard to breathe without coughing," she admitted.

"Halfway down this run I ran out of oxygen."

—Mikaela Shiffrin

"I was struggling to fight to stay on the course if I could and do my very best. It was tough today.

"I certainly had a lot of doubts today but in the most important moments it was okay, and my team was spectacular the whole time to get me recovered enough to do the job."

Women's slalom winner Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA (centre), second placed Sweden's Anna Swenn Larsson (left) and third placed Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova (right) celebrate on the podium. [REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger]

Home cheer

Anna Swenn-Larsson provided cheer for the home fans as she took Sweden's first medal of the championships, finishing in second place 0.58 seconds behind the American.

It was the 27-year-old's first individual world championships medal of her career. The Swede had a team bronze medal to her name from 2015. Her second-place finish was only her third major podium, in addition to two World Cup top three finishes.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, who beat Shiffrin to giant slalom gold earlier in the championships, placed third. It was her third medal of the championships, in addition to a silver in the Alpine combined.

Holdener, who led after the first run, slid off early on her second run and although she eventually recovered and finished the race, she was unable to regain enough ground, finishing over five seconds down.

The slalom concluded the women's programme in Are.

In the other events, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia won the downhill, while Holdener took home Alpine combined gold.