Associated Press2 minute read
SOLDEU, Andorra – Marco Odermatt underscored his dominance in men’s ski racing on Saturday by breaking the 23-year-old men’s record for most World Cup points in a season.
The Swiss standout won his final race of the season, the giant slalom in the World Cup final, by 2.11 seconds over second-place Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway.
The win brought Odermatt’s total to 2,042 points and surpassed the previous mark of 2,000 set by Austrian great Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.
“I’m sorry, Hermann,” Odermatt joked in a post-race interview with Austrian television, adding that the record meant “a lot” to him.
“The last few days, I always said: no, no, it’s not that important, just numbers,” Odermatt said. “But the way I felt today, with the pressure again, I knew it was more important than what I said. I’m very happy it worked out.”
Last week, Maier wrote on his website that he expected Odermatt to top him.
“In my opinion, Marco hasn’t even reached his zenith and he can still improve, especially downhill,” Maier said.
Odermatt theoretically has a chance to score even more points in Sunday’s season-ending slalom, but he has never raced in that event at World Cup level.
The overall record, between men and women, is held by Slovenian standout Tina Maze, who racked up 2,414 points when she won the women’s overall title in 2013.
Odermatt, who is the Olympic champion, matched another best with his 13th win of the season. No male skier has ever won more races in a season, and only Maier, Ingemar Stenmark and Marcel Hirscher have accomplished the feat in the past.
The overall record for wins in a season is held by Mikaela Shiffrin, who won 17 times on her way to the 2018-19 overall women’s title.
Odermatt had already successfully defended his overall title and secured the disciplinary globes for super-G and giant slalom.
“I really wanted to reach the final without pressure, but today I felt this pressure again,” he said. “Today has not been easy. I was nervous again about those damn 2,000 points. Now with another victory, more than two seconds ahead, I don’t know what to say”.
On Saturday, the Swiss standout posted the second fastest time in his last race and built on his clear lead from race one, when he was 1.09 seconds quicker than Alexis Pinturault. The French skier fell to eighth.
Kristoffersen was only eighth after the first stage before climbing to second. Marco Schwarz from Austria finished 2.29 behind in third place.