Vlhova's height helps her beat Shiffrin in parallel slalom
OSLO, Norway (AP) — Petra Vlhova of Slovakia took advantage of her height to beat overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin in both runs of the final and win a parallel slalom city event Tuesday.
The 5-foot-11 (1.80 meters) Vlhova was able to cross check gates out of her way with both fists while the more compact Shiffrin, at 5-foot-7 (1.70 meters), had to maneuver further around the gates.
Cross checking is a key tactic in parallel events, which use wider gates with panels compared to traditional slaloms which have only poles as gates.
Vlhova finished 0.39 seconds ahead of Shiffrin for the sixth victory of her career, and second in five days following a giant slalom win in Semmering, Austria, last week. She led by 0.21 seconds after the first run.
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland beat Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden for third.
In the men's race, Austria's Marco Schwarz claimed the first World Cup victory of his career when British opponent Dave Ryding missed a gate.
Schwarz's previous best finish was second in a traditional slalom in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, last month.
Ryding was attempting to become the first British skier — man or woman — in the 51-year history of the World Cup to win a race. He also finished second in a traditional slalom in Kitzbuehel, Austria, two years ago.
Ryding eliminated overall World Cup leader Marcel Hirscher in the quarterfinals when Hirscher straddled a gate as he attempted to erase a first-run deficit.
Ramon Zenhaeusern of Switzerland took third when Olympic champion Andre Myhrer of Sweden skied out in the second run of the small final.
Vlhova and Schwarz, both 23, each won gold medals at the 2012 Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
Needing to complete eight runs over four rounds to win in a knockout format, skiers were shuttled back up to the start after each leg following brief pit stops with their ski technicians.
The night event was held inside the Holmenkollen ski jumping arena, which was used for the 1952 Olympics.
The World Cup resumes with slalom races for men and women in Zagreb, Croatia, this weekend.
Another parallel city event is scheduled for Stockholm, Sweden, on Feb. 19.