Mikaela Shiffrin returned from her longest break between ski races and resumed her rivalry with Petra Vlhova, taking second to the Slovakian at a World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland, on Saturday.
Vlhova won the first slalom of the season by .18 of a second, combining times from two runs. Shiffrin, racing for the first time since Jan. 26 and her father’s death Feb. 2, was .15 behind after the first run.
Austrian Katharina Liensberger took third.
The women race another slalom in Levi on Sunday. Peacock Premium live streams both runs. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA airs coverage at 6:45 a.m. ET, including the second run live.
“It’s kind of crazy to be back after a very long time and everything,” Shiffrin said after her first run. “It’s pretty amazing and I am just really happy to be here.”
Shiffrin and Vlhova combined to win the last 27 World Cup slaloms dating to January 2017 — 19 for Shiffrin and eight for Vlhova.
“Nothing’s changed, but also everything’s changed,” Shiffrin said. “But it’s really fun to be here, to see everybody skiing. It’s fun to watch, and for me it was fun to do.”
Vlhova won the last four World Cup slaloms, including three victories over Shiffrin. It’s the first time Shiffrin has gone three straight slalom starts without a victory since 2014.
Vlhova benefited from having the second run set by her coach, and having more preseason training than Shiffrin. The American missed the season opener in October due to a back injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Mikaela Shiffrin runner-up in first World Cup in 300 days originally appeared on NBCSports.com