Poutiainen leads World Cup slalom after 1st run



LEVI, Finland (AP) — Local favorite Tanja Poutiainen of Finland had the fastest time in the first run of a women’s World Cup slalom Saturday, taking a narrow lead over Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch.

Poutiainen finished in 1 minute 0.24 seconds in windy conditions with light snow, 0.30 seconds ahead of Olympic slalom champion Hoefl-Riesch, who showed no signs of a hip injury that has been bothering her.

Poutiainen says she has had a good training week, feeling “really confident.”

American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin made an impressive first run, coming in third, 0.54 off the lead.

Austria’s Marlies Schild straddled a gate just before the finish and is out of the race.

Defending overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn of the United States skipped the event.