- Associated Press - Saturday, March 8, 2014

ARE, Sweden (AP) - Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin led the first run of a World Cup slalom on Saturday and is poised to retain her season-long title.

The 18-year-old American timed 52.99 seconds on the Olympia course, 0.66 faster than Frida Hansdotter of Sweden who is also second in the discipline standings.

Should Shiffrin complete victory in the afternoon second run, she cannot be overtaken in the standings at the final race next Saturday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Maria Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden was third fastest, trailing 0.80 behind Shiffrin.

Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany was sixth, 1.23 back, as she seeks to regain the overall standings lead.

Hoefl-Riesch is just seven points behind Anna Fenninger, who won giant slaloms at Are the past two days, but the Austrian does not race slalom.


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