Preview: Women’s Giant Slalom At World Championships

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The women’s giant slalom race Thursday

2013 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS GIANT SLALOM MEDALISTS

Gold, Tessa Worley, France. Silver, Tina Maze, Slovenia. Bronze, Anna Fenninger, Austria.

THE FAVORITES

Maze: She’s already won three medals — two gold, one silver — in her opening three events at Beaver Creek worlds. She’s trying to match Norway skiing great Lasse Kjus, who earned a medal in all five disciplines at the 1999 worlds in Beaver Creek.

Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States: The Olympic slalom champion was runner-up in a World Cup GS race in Beaver Creek in December 2013.

Fenninger: She’s a big fan of this demanding course, winning the super-G and taking second in the downhill last week.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT

Lindsey Vonn, United States: This will be her last race at worlds in front of the hometown crowd. She was emotional after failing to finish the slalom portion of the Alpine combined earlier in the week, the pressure of living up to expectations overwhelming her. She said this icy hill doesn’t “really feel good” on her surgically repaired right knee.

Eva-Maria Brem of Austria: She helped Austria to a title in the team event Tuesday in Vail, Colorado. She leads the giant slalom standings on the World Cup circuit this season.

QUOTABLE

“I’m really excited about the GS. I want to ski free.” Shiffrin said after the team event in which the Americans were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

FACTS & FIGURES

Maze won GS gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She’s trying to become the first woman to win this event at worlds as the reigning Olympic gold medalist since Italy’s Deborah Compagnoni, who won gold at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer and followed that up with wins in 1996 and ’97 at worlds. … Maze won the GS at worlds in 2011. She has nine world medals in her career. … Shiffrin, who will turn 20 next month, can become the youngest world champ in giant slalom since American Diann Roffe-Steinrotter won in 1985 at 17. … Jessica Lindell Vikarby of Sweden won the World Cup GS event at this venue in 2013.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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