Alpine Skiing: Hirscher wins World Cup Crystal Globe title

Marcel Hirscher of Austria won the overall World Cup title for a second straight year on Thursday when chief rival Aksel Lund Svindal withdrew from the slalom race.

The Norwegian's decision followed the cancellations due to bad weather of a downhill race on Wednesday and a super-G race on Thursday.

He had hoped to close in on Hirscher's lead of 149 points in the two specialities he excells in before tackling the slalom which is more favourable to the Austrian.

"I see no point in competing in the slalom now," Svindal said. "It might have been a consideration had the two last races not been cancelled. But that has not been the case.

"Hirscher greatly deserves the overall Globe," added Svindal.

The slalom is due to take place on Sunday with a giant slalom on Saturday.

Hirscher has been by far the outstanding performer in the slalom this season and in order to overtake the Austrian in the overall standings, Svindal would have needed to at least finish on the podium in both weekend events.

Yet Hirscher, 24, only needed a top 10 finish in both to guarantee the Crystal Globe.

As Hirscher has been the best in the slalom this season and second in the giant slalom, with Svindal nowhere near challenging in either, there was little chance of the Norwegian triumphing.

Indeed the loss to the weather of his specialist disciplines robbed him of any realistic hope of taking the Globe.

Instead, Hirscher wins his second Globe and adds the World Cup slalom title to his World Championship gold medal in that event last month.

"Despite my young age, I've already learnt many things. In life, being slalom world champion is not the most important thing," said a philosophical Hirscher.

"There are things that surpass that such as my family, Laura (his girlfriend), my friends and being healthy."