Courchevel-Méribel 2023. Slalom Races Preview
The 47th Alpine World Ski Championships in Méribel and Courchevel continues on Saturday with the Women's Slalom Event followed by the Men's event on Sunday.
Defending Champions Katharina Liensberger and Sebastian Foss-Solevåg are the ones to fight to retain the title.
Saturday 18 February. 1 run 10:00 / 2run 13:30 CET Slalom Women
Sunday, February 19. 1 run 10:00 / 2run 13:30 CET Slalom Men
Katharina Liensberger is the reigning World champion in the women's slalom. She won the gold medal in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2021.
The 25-year-old Austrian had set the best time in both Slalom runs to finish clearly ahead of Petra Vhlova and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Katharina Liensberger was the first Austrian woman to reach the world championship podium in the Slalom since Michaela Kirchgasser (silver) in 2013. The last Austrian to win the women's slalom world title was Marlies Schild in 2011.
Liensberger claimed three medals in Cortina 2021: bronze in the Giant Slalom and gold in the Parallel Giant Slalom (shared with Marta Bassino) and in Slalom. The last Austrian woman to grab three world championship medals in one year was Anna Veith (3) in 2015.
Liensberger can become the fourth woman to win back-to-back world titles in the Slalom, after Shiffrin (4 in a row in 2013-2019), Christel Cranz (3 in a row in 1937-1939) and Janic Kostelic (2 in a row in 2003-2005).
Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the women's Giant Slalom last Thursday, claiming her seventh world title. She has won four of her seven world titles in the slalom (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019).
Only Christel Cranz (12) won more world titles than Shiffrin (7). Cranz won her titles between 1934 and 1939, when the World Championships were held every year. Toni Sailer, Marielle Goitschel, Anja Pärson and Marcel Hirscher also won seven world titles. Only Cranz (15) and Pärson (13) claimed as many World Championships medals as Shiffrin (13).
Cranz is also the only skier, male or female, to have won at least five world titles in a specific event. She who won the Alpine Combined gold five times.
Shiffrin could join the group of six women who won the Slalom and Giant Slalom world titles in the same year. The last to achieve this was Deborah Compagnoni in 1997. The others were Dagmar Rom (1950), Andrea Mead-Lawrence (1952), Marianne Jahn (1962), Hanni Wenzel (1980) and Erika Hess (1982).
Petra Vlhová' finished fourth in 2017, third in 2019, and second in 2021 in the Slalom in the last three world championships.
Vlhová has already won the world title in the women's Giant slalom in 2019. She can become the 12th woman to win the Giant Slalom and Slalom at the world championships.
Vlhová is the reigning Olympic Champion in the Women's Slalom. At Beijing 2022, she won gold ahead of Katharina Liensberger and Wendy Holdener.
Wendy Holdener hopes to become the first Swiss winner of the women's Slalom at the World Championships since 1991, when Vreni Schneider emerged victorious in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
The only Swiss skiers, male or female, to have won more gold medals at the world championships than Holdener (3) are Erika Hess (6), Pirmin Zurbriggen (4) and Rudolf Rominger (4).
Lena Duerr can become the first German woman to win a world title since 2013, when Maria Höfl-Riesch won the Alpine Combined.
Anna Swenn-Larsson can become the first Swedish woman to win the women's Slalom world title since 2001, when Anja Pärson won the gold medal.
Sebastian Foss-Solevåg won gold in the Men’s Slalom at the Cortina World championships. The Norwegian beat Adrian Pertl by 0.21 seconds. World Cup Slalom champion Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway finished 0.46 behind in third.
The last Norwegian man to collect a medal in this event at the world championships was Lasse Kjus in 1999 (silver).