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The Latest: Shiffrin calls Swedish fan up to stage

February 16, 2019
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Gold medal's winner United States' Mikaela Shiffrin, right, and silver medallist Sweden's Anna Swenn Larsson talk during the medals ceremony for the women's slalom, at the alpine ski World Championships in Are, Sweden, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

ARE, Sweden (AP) — The Latest on the skiing world championships (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin was joined by her Swedish good luck charm again during her slalom victory.

Shiffrin called Emma Lundell, a young cross-country skier who she met in 2012 on the day of her first career World Cup victory in Are, up to the stage during her post-race news conference.

Lundell, who was battling leukemia and receiving chemotherapy treatment when Shiffrin first met her, is a cancer survivor.

Shiffrin tells Lundell, “You’re one of my biggest inspirations and something like an angel for me to always remind me of the important things in life. I really have to thank you for that. I don’t know if I can ever explain to you what it means to me but I’m so happy that you’re here.”

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6:25 p.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin is not interested in taking over Lindsey Vonn’s fight to race against men.

After her slalom win, Shiffrin was told Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark said he thought she could beat a few of the men and asked if she’d like to try.

Shiffrin responded, “I would not like to try. I love to train with the men. It’s really motivating. ... It’s something different to race. The strength that they have to put into every run is more than most girls are able to do.”

Vonn, who retired last weekend, asked the International Ski Federation for years to race a downhill against the men but her request was never realized.

Shiffrin says, “The best guys are just on a different planet. They’re pushing so hard every turn. It’s so precise. ... The women, the level is getting higher, there’s more depth, we’re pushing it but it’s not quite the same level because we don’t have the same literal physical strength. But it’s always inspiring for us to watch the men, to train with them and to have the motivation to push it farther.”

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4:05 p.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin said she “ran out of oxygen” halfway down the course as she fought through illness to win an unprecedented fourth slalom title at the world championships.

Speaking with a croaky voice, Shiffrin said “I was just trying to fight to stay on the course” and that she “certainly had a lot of doubt today.”

On where this performance ranked in her career, Shiffrin said “today was something else.”

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3:30 p.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin fought through sickness to win an unprecedented fourth straight slalom title at the world championships.

The American, who was skiing with a chest cold, improved from third place after the first run to win by 0.58 seconds over Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden.

It was a second gold of these championships for Shiffrin after winning the super-G. She also took bronze in the giant slalom.

No Alpine skier had previously won the same discipline at four successive worlds.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia took the bronze medal.

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12:05 p.m.

Wendy Holdener of Switzerland held a 0.11-second lead over Anna Swenn Larsson after the first run in the slalom at the world championships, with Mikaela Shiffrin 0.15 back in third place.

Holdener is looking to capture a second gold at these championships after winning the Alpine combined.

Shiffrin, who is racing with a chest cold, trained with Holdener on Friday and the American said she was “about as far behind her as I am right now. So a little bit I can see the writing on the wall and she’s going to be really high level today.”

Racing on a soft course in light snow and under brightening skies, Swenn Larsson thrilled the flag-waving Swedes in the crowd by finishing ahead of Shiffrin and getting into medal contention on her home course.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia was in fifth place, 0.46 seconds off the lead, as she attempts to back up her win in the giant slalom on Thursday.

Results weren’t official as lower-ranked skiers were yet to finish.

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11:35 a.m.

Mikaela Shiffrin is fighting a chest illness as she looks to win gold in the slalom at the world championships.

After Shiffrin finished behind leader Wendy Holdener and Anna Swenn Larsson in her first run, U.S. ski team spokeswoman Megan Harrod said Shiffrin “has a chest cold” and had “low energy.”

After 20 racers in the 98-woman field, Shiffrin was in third place.

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10:50 a.m.

The weather’s turned ugly for Mikaela Shiffrin’s last race at the skiing world championships.

Fog has descended over the course at Are, Sweden, and the wind has slightly picked up again ahead of the slalom, which Shiffrin starts as favorite.

The American is looking to capture her second gold medal of these championships, having already won the super-G. She also took bronze in the giant slalom.

Her biggest rival is likely to be Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, who won the giant slalom.

Shiffrin is second on the course, and Vlhova is sixth.

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