LEVI, Finland (AP) — American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin took a big lead ahead of Slovenia’s Tina Maze after the first round of the World Cup slalom opener Saturday.
The 18-year-old slalom world champion overcame windy conditions at the top of the hill and a small mistake halfway down to clock 57.23 seconds.
Maze, last year’s overall World Cup winner, was 0.52 seconds back in second place.
Maria Wallner of Germany started with bib No. 63 but surprisingly finished third, coming in just 0.69 seconds behind Shiffrin. Teammate Maria Hoefl-Riesch was tied with the same time.
Marlies Schild of Austria, who injured her knee in December 2012 and returned for the first time since recovering fully, missed a gate and didn’t qualify for the second round.