There was a shock win for New Zealand’s 17-year-old ski racing prodigy Alice Robinson in the opening race of the FIS Alpine Ski Racing World Cup in Solden, Austria, today, a giant slalom.
Robinson had a storming first run to lie in second place behind ski racing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin who was going for her 61st victory after setting multiple records last season including the most ever wins and the most ever prize money of any skier in one season.
Expectations were for Shiffrin to pull ahead on her final run, but in the event Robinson posted the marginally better second run time and took the win by six hundredths of a second.
Although this is Robinson’s first World Cup win she has been grabbing the headlines over the past year with her performances in junior races and a breakthrough at senior level in the World Cup Finals in Soldeu last March.
Robinson qualified to compete by virtue of winning the Junior World Championships Giant Slalom the month prior but took silver finishing 0.3 of a second behind Mikaela Shiffrin.
That was the first podium result at Alpine World Cup level for a New Zealand athlete since 2002 and her win today is the first kiwi gold since 1997. It also places her number one overall in the world for the start of the season, last winter she finished 62nd
Robinson will turn 18 on 1st December. Born in 2001 she is also the first racer born this century to win a World Cup race. Mikaela Shiffrin, now 24, also won her first World cup race aged 17.
Britain’s Alex Tilley picked up her first World Cup points of the season with a 27th place finish
The first men’s race of the season takes place tomorrow without the dominant presence of Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, the current overall world champion and winner of a record eight consecutive World Cup titles, who announced his retirement last month.