Alpine skiing-Shiffrin climbs podium on return to World Cup circuit

22 Nov 2020 / 01:47 H.

    Nov 21 (Reuters) - Double Olympic gold medallist Mikaela Shiffrin marked her return to the Alpine ski World Cup circuit after a gap of 300 days with a second-placed finish in the slalom in Levi, Finland, on Saturday.

    The 25-year-old American missed last month's season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, with a back injury but showed no signs of the problem, finishing 0.18 seconds behind Slovakia's Petra Vlhova who clocked a total of one minute 50.11 seconds after her two runs.

    Austria's Katharina Liensberger took third place.

    "It felt like my first victory; it's a really special day," three-times World Cup overall champion Shiffrin, who last raced in January, told

    Shiffrin had been set to return to competitive action in March for the final races of the 2019-20 season after taking more than a month out following the death of her father Jeff but the COVID-19 crisis ended the season prematurely.

    "A good thing was that a lot of the feeling today was similar to what I felt in the past. Maybe that means I didn't lose it all -- my ability to ski fast or to try to be strong and come back... be hungry and competitive," she added.

    "One of the big reasons I wanted to come back and race was to see if this was something I could still do. And we're here and it was okay. I still enjoyed it. That's good."

    The women will be back in action on Sunday for the second slalom race of the weekend. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)

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