Vlhova makes Slovakian skiing history with women's overall World Cup title

Petra Vlhova won the women's World Cup overall title as the first Slovakian to be crowned best all-around skier. She leads Lara Gut-Behrami, who didn't compete in Saturday's slalom, by more than 100 points entering Sunday's season-ending giant slalom.

Liensberger beats Shiffrin by 1.24 seconds to finish atop slalom season standings

Petra Vlhova's sixth-place finish in Saturday's slalom gave her an unbeatable lead of more than 100 points in the standings over Lara Gut-Behrami to clinch the women's overall World Cup title in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. (Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

Making history for her nation, Petra Vlhova won the women's World Cup overall title on Saturday as the first Slovakian to be crowned the best all-around skier.

Vlhova needed only a top-14 finish in her specialist slalom event, and placed a distant sixth in a race that Katharina Liensberger won by 1.24 seconds in 1:49.77.

"I won also for my country. It means a lot" Vlhova said in an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF. "I cannot believe it."

The race win earned Liensberger the season-long discipline title, edging Mikaela Shiffrin who also placed second in Saturday's race in 1:51.01. Michelle Gisin was third in 1:51.72, trailing Liensberger by 1.95.

WATCH | Liensberger captures slalom season title:

Katharina Liensberger claims Crystal Globe after slalom win in Switzerland

2 years ago
Duration 1:51
The Austrian cruised to the win in Lenzerheide by more than a second before celebrating her overall season title.
The result gave the 25-year-old Vlhova an unbeatable lead of more than 100 points in the standings over Lara Gut-Behrami. The Swiss racer, who won the overall title in 2016, skips slalom but will compete against Vlhova in the season-ending giant slalom on Sunday.

A first giant Crystal Globe trophy for Vlhova offset letting her lead slip in the slalom standings. She dropped to third in the season-long slalom standings that she won last year.

6 wins in 30 races

"I'm a little disappointed how I was today because I lost the cup in slalom," she said, though adding that the overall title had been "the main goal this season."

Laurence St-Germain of St. Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., was the lone Canadian in Saturday's race and narrowly missed her fifth top-10 finish of the season, placing 11th in 1:53.62.

Liensberger added the discipline title to the gold medal in slalom she won at the world championships last month.

Vlhova is a rarity in the increasingly specialized world of skiing by competing in all events. Saturday's start was her 30th on the World Cup circuit this season, and she won six times.

She looked more exhausted than exhilarated after crossing the finish line. She bent forward on her skis for a few seconds before giving a weary-looking wave to the television camera.

"It's amazing. It was a really, really difficult season for me because we did almost everything. I was everywhere," said Vlhova, who also won two silver medals at the worlds in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

Shiffrin is a three-time overall champion though chose to focus on technical events this season and did not start in super-G or downhill in the World Cup.

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