US ski star Mikaela Shiffrin’s bid for a third Olympic gold medal failed at the first hurdle as she pulled up in the women’s giant slalom on Monday.
As defending champion, Shiffrin was among the favourites for the race at the Beijing Games, but lasted only a handful of gates before she slipped wide and was unable to regain her line.
It is a hammer blow for Shiffrin, who also won slalom gold at the 2014 Sochi Games, and the 26-year-old will now have to quickly refocus on Wednesday’s slalom.
The American had complained before the race that she had had just two days of giant slalom training in the three months between the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, and the meet in the French resort of Courchevel in December.
“I got the bulk of my GS training for the entire season in the last four days here in Beijing,” she said.
“That’s not ideal but I think my skiing’s in a pretty good place.”
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