Alpine skiing-Hirscher wins third successive World Cup title

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:15am EDT

1 of 2. Men's giant slalom winner Ted Ligety of the U.S. is flanked by Austria's runner up Marcel Hirscher (L) and third placed Alexis Pinturault of France during a ceremony at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide March 15, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Leonhard Foeger

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LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Austria's Marcel Hirscher won his third successive overall alpine skiing World Cup title after placing fourth in the giant slalom in the finals at Lenzerheide on Saturday.

Hirscher leads nearest rival Aksel Lund Svindal by 31 points with only the slalom remaining, a race the Norwegian does not compete in.

Svindal failed to complete the first leg of the giant slalom, squandering his final chance to score points in the battle for the overall title.

Hirscher is the first male skier to win three straight "big globes" since American Phil Mahre in 1983.

Ted Ligety of the United States won the giant slalom, while Hirscher's victory made it an Austrian double, with compatriot Anna Fenninger securing the women's overall crown on Thursday.

(Reporting by Manuele Lang; editing by Josh Reich)

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