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Zettel wins slalom gold in Aspen

Zettel wins slalom gold in Aspen

Kathrin Zettel held off her Austrian teammate and training partner Marlies Schild to win a World Cup slalom Sunday, skiing a blazing second run on a course on which she is much at home.

Zettel finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 42.46 seconds to edge Schild by 0.67 seconds. Tina Maze of Slovenia was third in a race Lindsey Vonn skipped as she recovers from an intestinal illness.

Schild was seeking her 34th career slalom win, which would match the discipline record of Swiss great Vreni Schneider. She looked on her way, too, after a swift second run through a challenging course. But Schild was eclipsed by Zettel, the last skier of the afternoon.

"She was pretty tough to beat," Schild said.

Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. was in the lead for a few skiers before winding up seventh. Still, it was another solid showing for the 17-year-old who's from down the road in Vail. Very rapidly, Shiffrin is making quite a name for herself.

"I'm just trying to establish myself as a competitive racer with all these other guys," she said.

Shiffrin's definitely succeeding, with some referring to her as skiing's next prodigy. Shiffrin was third at the last slalom event in Levi, Finland, a competition won by Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany.

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