American woman becomes youngest-ever Olympic slalom champion

International Sports Desk, Feb 21 (EFE).- American skier Mikaela Shiffrin, 18, became the youngest person of either sex to win an Olympic slalom event when she captured gold Friday in the women's race at the Sochi Games.

She finished with an overall time of 1:44.54 and was joined on the podium by a pair of Austrians: Marlies Schild, who won her second straight Olympic silver medal in ladies' slalom with a time of 1:45.07, and Kathrin Zettel, who captured her first-ever Olympic medal.

Shiffrin took the lead after the first run, with Germany's Maria Höfl-Riesch and Slovenia's Tina Maze in the second and third spots.

A sixth-place finish in the second run was then good enough to seal the victory for the American, who shattered the mark for youngest Olympic slalom champion that Italian Paoletta Magoni (then 19) had set at the Sarajevo Games in 1984.

Shiffrin also ended a long Olympic medal drought for Americans in ladies' slalom, becoming the first U.S. woman to win a medal in that event at a Winter Games since Barbara Cochran captured gold in 1972 in Sapporo, Japan.

Höfl-Riesch, who won gold in the women's combined (slalom and downhill) and silver in the super giant slalom earlier in this Olympics, finished fourth in the slalom with a time of 1:45.73, 1.19 seconds behind Shiffrin.

Maze, gold medalist in Sochi in downhill and giant slalom, finished in eighth place overall.