JAN 24, 2018
A home win in front of 50,000 fans, the final rehearsal before the slalom in the Winter Olympics, but above all he has now equalised with Hermann Maier, the Atomic icon, the most successful winner in the overall rankings. Even for Marcel the night race in Schladming was unusually rich in superlatives. But he still showed himself in his usual humble way: “I’m incredibly happy that I could achieve that.”
Marcel’s 54th World Cup win couldn’t have been more impressive: the best time in both runs, won on two different pairs of skis. “This time however it was necessary. The skis which had worked so well in the first run were damaged slightly when he touched one of the slalom poles. But those from the 2nd run have worked as well”, Atomic Race Director Christian Höflehner grinned slightly. 4 tenths of a lead on the unleashed Henrik Kristoffersen, more than two seconds on the third place and he increased his lead in the overall and slalom World Cup rankings to 174 and 119 points respectively. All this was only of secondary importance this time.
“I didn’t want to focus on Hermann’s record, but you often just start thinking about these incredible numbers again and again. To be able to match that record on a race in my home territory just tops it off even more. It was never this loud before, just out of this world”
On 23rd January, with his 9th win this season, the World Champion has now equalled his own personal best from the 2011/12 season. Based on his performance up until now, the World Record (held by Ingemar Stenmark and Hermann Maier both with 13 first places) is still within reach with six technical races still to go. However, before there’s a mission to be fulfilled in South Korea. Exactly how many races Marcel Hirscher will start in still needs to be decided: but three (giant slalom, slalom, team) of them are already certain, an appearance in the combined is also probable due to the numerous downhill training sessions, and the super G is not planned at the moment. Christian Höflehner: “Naturally we’re taking equipment for all the disciplines with us.”
Before the World Cup experts take-off for the Olympic Games in South Korea there are still downhill and giant slalom races to be won in Garmisch (Mens, Sat / Sun) and the Ladies are competing in Lenzerheide for the combined, giant slalom and slalom from Friday, followed by the city event which takes place in Stockholm next Tuesday.