American Mikaela Shiffrin, four-time winner of the big crystal globe, won the Levi slalom on Saturday in Finland, the first women’s race of the Alpine Skiing World Cup season.

Shiffrin beat Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson, already second in the first run, by 16/100ths, and her great Slovak rival Petra Vlhova, Olympic champion in the specialty in Beijing, by 20/100ths.

It is approaching the absolute record of Ingemar Stenmark

Only third in the first run, Shiffrin clocked the fastest time on the second course to claim a 75th World Cup victory. At 27, she is approaching the absolute record of Swede Ingemar Stenmark (86) and the total of her compatriot Lindsey Vonn (82).

Levi, a city in the far north of Finland located beyond the Arctic Circle, marks the opening of the women’s season after the cancellation in October of the giant of Sölden because of the weather, then the three following stages of the calendar (Zermatt/Cervinia, twice, then Lech) due to lack of snow. The French Nastasia Noens took 26th place 3 sec 99/100e from the winner. The skiers continue with a new slalom on Sunday.

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