Alpine skiing-Swiss Odermatt breaks 23-year-old record for most points in season

Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Men's Giant Slalom - Soldeu, Andorra - March 18, 2023 Switzerland's Marco Odermatt celebrates on the podium after winning the men's Giant Slalom alongside second place Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen and third place Slovenia's Zan Kranjec REUTERS/Albert Gea

(Reuters) - Switzerland's Marco Odermatt broke the men's record for most points in a World Cup season that had stood for 23 years when he won the giant slalom in Soldeu on Saturday.

Odermatt needed to finish on the podium to break Austrian great Hermann Maier's record of 2,000 overall points but the 25-year-old beat Henrik Kristoffersen by 2.11 seconds thanks to a scorching first run to clinch victory and the record.

The win, his seventh in 10 giant slalom events, took his tally up to an incredible 2,042 points.

"I have no idea how I won, I was so tired. We partied hard on Thursday," Odermatt said with a laugh.

"Today wasn't easy because of those damn 2,000 points. I really wanted the podium today. So another victory, two seconds ahead - I don't know what to say.

"It means a lot. The past days I said it was not so important, just numbers. The important things are Globes, but now I felt the pressure today. So I knew it was more important than I said, so I am happy I got it."

Victory also gave Odermatt a place in history alongside Maier, Ingemar Stenmark and Marcel Hirscher as the only men to win 13 times in one season.

Maier, who was nicknamed the "Herminator" and won four overall World Cup titles said this that Odermatt had not yet reached his peak, especially in downhill.

Odermatt is second overall in the downhill standings behind Norway's Aleksander Kilde. The Swiss could add to his tally on Sunday in the final race but he has never competed in World Cup slalom events.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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