(Reuters) – Defending slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin claimed her 41st World Cup title in the season opener in Levi, Finland on Saturday, surpassing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time record tally.
American Shiffrin, who came into the second run behind Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, made a flying start and came through a difficult middle section to finish with a time of 58.79 seconds.
Vlhova crashed out early in her second, handing Shiffrin victory.
“I feel a little bit lucky with this win, but I also feel good with my skiing so I’m happy,” double Olympic champion Shiffrin said.
Shiffrin eclipsed a 32-year-old mark set by Stenmark, who won 40 slaloms between 1974 and 1987.
Swiss Wendy Holdener finished runner-up with the second-best time of the second run and an overall time of 1:59:35.
Austrian Katharina Truppe came third to claim her first career World Cup podium finish.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)