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Hector stays on track with giant slalom victory

By AFP
January 26, 2022
Hector stays on track with giant slalom victory

ROME: Sara Hector survived a scare midway through her second run to edge Petra Vlhova to win the giant slalom in Kronplatz, Italy, on Tuesday.

The Swede, who started sliding off midway down the course but managed to swerve just in time to make the next gate, edged Slovak Vlhova, who also went wide on the same curve by 0.15sec.

Vlhova had led comfortably after the first run but unlike Hector was unable to regain her speed.

Hector, who has been on the podium in the last five World Cup giant slaloms and collected her third win of the season, goes into the Beijing Olympics on a high note. The giant slalom is on February 11.

“I was so surprised when I crossed the finish line because I thought ‘I screwed it up a little bit there’,” Hector said.

“I was really pushing after that because I was thinking ‘argh, that shouldn’t happen’.

“Crazy that I was this fast. I was really fighting and I guess that paid off.”

As many of the leaders who closed the second leg struggled on an increasingly bumpy and rutted course, French skier Tessa Worley jumped from eighth to third, a combined 0.52sec behind Hector.

The six best times in the second run were set by skiers who were 16th or lower after the first leg and therefore went early

Italian Federica Brignone finished fourth at 0.57.

American Mikaela Shiffrin, third after the first run, lost more than half a second to Hector on the second run and dropped to fifth.

Hector increased her lead in the giant slalom standings. She is 95 points ahead of Worley, who overtook Shiffrin in second place.

In the overall World Cup standings, Vlhova, the defending champion, remained second but cut Shiffrin’s lead to 17 points.

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