January 14, 2018 / 2:44 PM / 8 months ago

Alpine skiing: Irrepressible Hirscher wins fifth slalom of the season

WENGEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - The irrepressible Marcel Hirscher stayed on course for his seventh successive overall World Cup title and sounded a warning to his Olympic rivals with another dominant win on Sunday, this time in the slalom at Wengen.

Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup - Men's Slalom - Wengen, Switzerland - January 14, 2018 - Marcel Hirscher of Austria reacts after the finish. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The Austrian, who will be aiming to add a first Olympic gold in Pyeongchang next month to his glittering array of titles, won by 0.93 seconds from long-suffering Norwegian rival Henrik Kristoffersen.

Hirscher was fastest in both legs as he claimed his fifth successive slalom win and left Kristoffersen to contemplate his seventh second place of the season, five of those behind the Austrian.

Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup - Men's Slalom - Wengen, Switzerland - January 14, 2018 - Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway, Marcel Hirscher of Austria and Andre Myhrer of Sweden celebrate on the podium. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Andre Myhrer of Sweden was third on a difficult, icy course which saw more than 20 skiers fail to finish the first run.

“At the moment, he’s just better, that’s the way it is and I don’t really have anything more to say,” Kristoffersen told reporters.

“I’ll never give up that’s for sure, I’ll keep fighting and I’ll train as much as I have to so that one day I can be on top of the podium again.”

Although Hirscher has won 53 World Cup races, it was his first success at Wengen, considered one of the circuit’s classic events, and where Kristoffersen won for the past two seasons.

Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup - Men's Slalom - Wengen, Switzerland - January 14, 2018 - Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway and Marcel Hirscher of Austria celebrate on the podium. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

“Everybody is beatable including myself,” said Hirscher. “I’ve managed to win this race for the first time, it’s something special for me.”

“This was the only classic race in the slalom calendar that I hadn’t won today, and the media were always asking me why, so now that matter is finished.”

Hirscher tops the overall standings with 974 points and extended his lead over Kristoffersen, who is second, to 174. Alexis Pinturault of France is third on 579.

Hirscher has won eight races altogether this season, with the other three in giant slalom.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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