Shiffrin on the brink of matching Stenmark’s ski record

Mikaela Shiffrin is poised to equal Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time record of 86 World Cup wins after dominating the first leg of Friday’s giant slalom at Are in Sweden.

The US superstar holds a 0.58sec advantage over Canada’s Valerie Grenier. Franziska Gritsch is placed third at 0.93 with the rest of her rivals over one second adrift.

Barring an upset Shiffrin is set to join Swedish legend Stenmark on the 86-milestone mark that has stood for over 30 years.

One of the dangers between Shiffrin and history was Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami, who failed to finish.

The second leg is due off at 1200GMT.

If she goes on to take this giant slalom Shiffrin, who turns 28 next week, can claim the record for herself with an 87th World Cup win in Saturday’s slalom.

This is her third shot at drawing level with Stenmark, after moving to just one away from the benchmark set in 1989 with her 85th win in the slalom at Spindleruv Mlyn last month.

Like Shiffrin, Stenmark relished the slalom and giant slalom with the Swede dominating the two disciplines from 1975 before retiring in 1989.

Shiffrin arrived at Are on the back of what she termed a “spectacular” world championships in France where she won gold in both the giant slalom and super-G and silver in the slalom.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist was assured of winning a fifth overall World Cup title last weekend at Kvitfjell.