BRATISLAVA – Despite suffering with an inflamed shinbone and making a slow start, Petra Vlhova defeated Anna Swenn-Larson by just 0.02 seconds in a thrilling final run of the first parallel slalom of the FIS World Cup season in Switzerland’s St. Moritz on Sunday.
Franziska Fritsch from Austria finished third, taking her first career podium.
“The last two to three weeks have been very tough for me but today, it was perfect. I finally managed to win, I am very happy,” said Vlhova after crossing the line.
The 24-year-old Slovak skier celebrates her first triumph of the season, and the second parallel slalom of her career, having triumphed last season in January in Oslo.
Issues with her tibia kept her from participating in Saturday’s Super G but she pushed herself to try her luck in the parallel slalom, especially since rival Mikaela Shiffrin took a day off to focus on next week’s World Cup schedule in France instead.
Vlhova’s top qualifying times promised a successful outcome in the head-to-head runs and she beat all five of her opponents in the draw. Vlhova’s first victory of the season puts her in the fourth spot in the overall World Cup rankings, trailing Shiffrin by 294 points after 9 of 41 scheduled events.