Alpine skiing-Shiffrin ends season with a record-extending win

Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Women's Giant Slalom - Soldeu, Andorra - March 19, 2023 Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S celebrates after winning the women's slalom along with second placed Norway's Thea Louise Stjernesund and third placed Canada's Valerie Grenier REUTERS/Albert Gea

(Reuters) -Mikaela Shiffrin ended the Alpine ski season in Andorra with a flourish on Sunday, extending her list of records with an 88th World Cup win, 21st giant slalom victory and 138th podium appearance.

The American had equalled compatriot Lindsey Vonn's women's podium record with third place in a slalom on Saturday and Sunday's race in Soldeu left her 17 short of Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark's all-time haul of 155 podiums.

Her giant slalom tally took her one clear of the women's record she shared with Swiss great Vreni Schneider while the 2,206 points she amassed on the way to a fifth overall title was a personal career high.

Shiffrin broke Stenmark's record of 87 wins earlier this month and had already won the slalom and giant slalom titles along with the overall crystal globe.

Shiffrin took a 0.62-second lead over Canada's Valerie Grenier after the first run on the Avet piste and finished with a combined time of 1:55.88 -- 0.06 seconds ahead of Norway's Thea Louise Stjernesund. Grenier was third.

The win was her seventh in giant slalom this season, with Shiffrin taking 14 victories in total.

"I am excited to come back and do it again next season," she told Norwegian skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, her partner, who turned surprise television interviewer for the governing FIS in the finish area.

"I will get a little bit of time on the beach just for a few days and then back here in Europe for a few ski tests and then a little bit of a longer break," she added.

"We will be back in Europe for the start of next season before we know it."

Pre-race favourites, including last year's Olympic champion Sara Hector of Sweden, Italy's Federica Brignone and Saturday's slalom winner Petra Vlhova, did not finish their first runs after crashing through gates.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru/Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ken Ferris and Clare Fallon)

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