(Reuters) - American Mikaela Shiffrin claimed a second successive overall Alpine skiing World Cup title when she finished third in the giant slalom race at Ofterschwang on Friday.
Fourth after the first leg, Olympic giant slalom champion Shiffrin rose one place while Swiss Wendy Holdener, the only woman who still had a mathematical chance of depriving her of the title, was back in 14th place.
Holdener needed a top two finish to have any hope of keeping the title race alive.
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With five races of the season left, Shiffrin has 1,573 points, 603 points ahead of Holdener. Winners of each race receive 100 points.
"It's an incredible moment right now," said Shiffrin.
"After last year when I won the overall, some people were saying it was sort of fake 'because the other girls weren't there and there was nobody to challenge her.'
"So to have the overall this year locked in already before we go to (the World Cup) finals (in Are, Sweden), it feels like a confirmation for me."
Shiffrin is only the second American female skier to win multiple overall titles, behind speed specialist Lindsey Vonn who has won four.
Shiffrin has enjoyed a dominant season, topping the World Cup podium 11 times, although her one gold at the Olympics was less than many expected.
Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel claimed her first World Cup victory having won two silvers at the Olympics.
Giant slalom standings leader Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was second, 0.66 seconds behind, just missing the victory that would have guaranteed her the title in the event.
Shiffrin also leads the slalom standings with two races left and can wrap that up on Saturday with a 10th place or better in Ofterschwang.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman/Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Christian Radnedge)