Mikaela Shiffrin ties World Cup record in return from knee injury

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Mikaela Shiffrin returned to the slopes competitively for the first time on Sunday since sustaining a left knee injury on Jan. 26 and returned to the top of the podium in Are, Sweden.

Shiffrin dominated in the slalom, winning by 1.24 seconds over Croatia’s Zrinka Ljutic and 1.34 seconds over Michelle Gisin of Switzerland to win her 96th World Cup event. In the process, she clinched a record-tying eighth season title in one discipline.

The win came after just four training races since the injury. She had missed the past 11 races of the 39-race season.

“I’m lucky to be able to race again this season, and I’m really soaking it in,” Shiffrin told ORF of Austria after her first run. “My knee, it’s holding up. It’s doing good work for me.”

With the victory Sunday, she tied Lindsey Vonn (downhill) of the United States and Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden (giant slalom and slalom) with eight titles in one discipline.

There is one slalom race left in the season, but Shiffrin’s lead can’t be overtaken. Plans call for Shiffrin, who turns 29 on Wednesday, to run the slalom in the World Cup Finals in Saalbach, Austria, next Saturday. She also could enter the giant slalom the following day.