PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Just a day after winning gold in the giant slalom, Mikaela Shiffrin could only manage fourth place in the event she has come to dominate.
The 22-year-old Colorado native fell short of the slalom podium Friday by .08 seconds at Yongpyong Alpine Center. The defending Olympic champion struggled on the course, finishing fourth in both runs.
Austria's Katharina Gallhuber went from ninth after the first run to posting the fastest second run to squeeze past Shiffrin for the bronze with a time of 1:38.95.
Frida Hansdotter of Sweden took the gold medal by stringing together the second-fastest times on both runs for a total of 1:38.63. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, the leader after the first run, slipped into the silver medal with a 1:38.68, only 0.05 behind Hansdotter.
Park City’s Megan McJames finished 36th with a combined time of 1:49.28, while Alice Merryweather placed 42nd with a time of 1:53.57. Resi Stiegler did not finish her first run, and was being examined for a possible knee injury.
Shiffrin got sick before her first run, but said it may not have been the nerves associated with defending her Olympic gold.
“I don’t know, it was kind of sudden,” she said after competing her first run. “It almost felt like a virus kind of puking, less about nerves. We’ll see — .48 seconds (behind the leader) isn’t super far out. I will do my best for my second run. It’s nice to have that first run out of the way. Nothing was tricky, you just have to move quickly, like always.”
Shiffrin, who earned gold in the giant slalom the day before the discipline that earned her gold in Sochi, admitted she was a bit conservative.
“I know I have a lot more speed in me,” she said. “I will just let it go down the hill more in the second run. It will be quite a bit faster.”
She said earning her second gold in two days would require the same thing she harnessed in earning her first — skiing on the edge.
“There is not much tactic that goes into it,” she said. “I just put it all down the hill and see what happens.”