BERLIN, March 18 (dpa/EP) –
The Swiss skier Marco Odermatt has broken this Saturday in Grandvalira (Andorra) in the last giant slalom of the season the World Cup points record established 23 years ago, in 2000, by the Austrian legend Hermann Maier.
With his victory in Soldeu, Odermatt has 2,042 points for the season, while Maier had accumulated 2,000 points in the 1999-2000 academic year. Odermatt won a record 13 races this season and added nine more podiums, meaning he finished in the top three in 22 of the 26 races he contested in 2022-23, in an extraordinary display of consistency.
The downhill and giant slalom world champion and also Olympic champion entered the race having already won his second consecutive world title, as well as trophies in the super-giant and giant slalom disciplines.
But he did not slacken his pace and, after leading by more than a second in the first race, he defied the lack of visibility in the second to win by 2.11 seconds over the Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen and 2. 29 over the Austrian Marco Schwarz.
“I have no idea how I won, I was very tired. On Thursday we went out partying. Today was not easy because of those damn 2,000 points. I wanted to get on the podium. So another victory, two seconds ahead, no I don’t know what to say,” Odermatt said.
“It means a lot. The last few days I said it wasn’t that important, it was just numbers. The important thing is the Globes, but today I felt the pressure. I knew it was more important than what I said, so I’m glad I got it.” he continued.
The Olympic champion won seven of the nine giant slaloms he has competed in, missing another event through injury. He also won six of the eight Super G races and finished on the podium in the other four events in both disciplines. Odermatt added to his points tally with five podium finishes in downhill, the only discipline in which he failed to finish in the top three of the season on four occasions. He doesn’t ski slalom races.
Maier, fellow Austrian Marcel Hirscher and Swede Ingemar Stenmark are the only other men to have won 13 races in a season. However, her 2,042 points is a long way from the all-time record of 2,414 points achieved by Slovenian Tina Maze in the women’s category in 2012-13.
American Mikaela Shiffrin has also surpassed Odermatt’s tally, in 2019 and this season, adding 60 more points thanks to her third-place finish in the women’s slalom on Saturday for a tally of 2,106 with one race to go.
Shiffrin missed out on a record 88th career win, finishing 0.86 seconds behind Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, who took her second win of the season, 0.43 ahead of Croatia’s Leona Popovic, who took the podium for the first time in his career.
Shiffrin, the slalom and giant slalom World Cup champion, has one more chance in Sunday’s giant slalom, which along with the men’s title-challenging slalom completes the season.