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Ligety of U.S. Wins Fourth World Cup Giant Slalom Ski Title

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March 9 (Bloomberg) -- Ted Ligety of the U.S. won his fourth World Cup skiing giant slalom season title by taking today’s race in Slovenia.

Ligety’s combined time of 2 minutes, 35.43 seconds over two runs in Kranjska Gora was 0.45 seconds faster than Austrian Marcel Hirscher. France’s Alexis Pinturault was third, 0.77 seconds behind.

Ligety’s fifth giant slalom win of the season gave him an unbeatable 125-point lead over Hirscher in the standings with one race remaining. The 28-year-old was World Cup champion in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

“It’s a big weight off my back,” Ligety said in comments distributed by the U.S. Ski Team after his fifth career win in Kranjska Gora. “I had an awesome season in giant slalom but Hirscher was with me the whole season. It makes it tough going for the title. It was a head game when he was so close all along.

Hirscher extended his lead over Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who was sixth today, to 69 points in the overall World Cup standings.

Austria’s Anna Fenninger won today’s women’s giant slalom in Germany ahead of overall World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia.

Fenninger, 23, led after the first run in Ofterschwang and finished with a time of 2:29.39. Maze, who has also clinched the giant slalom title, was 0.44 seconds back, with Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg a further 0.52 seconds behind in third.

It’s the second giant slalom win of the season for Fenninger, while Maze has finished in the top-three in all eight races in the discipline this campaign.

The men will race a slalom in Kranjska Gora tomorrow, while the women run the same event in Ofterschwang.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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