Schladming, Austria • Lindsey Vonn set a women’s record for the most World Cup points in a season Saturday after finishing eighth in a slalom won by Austria’s Michaela Kirchgasser.
Vonn reached 1,980 points to beat the mark of 1,970 set by Janica Kostelic of Croatia in 2006.
“I am very happy with that,” said Vonn, the overall champion who needs 21 points in Sunday’s giant slalom to also overtake Austrian great Hermann Maier’s 12-year-old record of 2,000 points.
Vonn will need to finish 12th or better to overtake Maier and match his record by placing 13th.
“I hope I can do it tomorrow. I will fully attack,” she said. “I am going to take risks, but I will also ski smart.”
The part-time Park City resident said it was her goal to get a few points from the slalom — her weakest discipline — to make Sunday’s task a little easier.
“Slalom has been a struggle for me in the last couple of years,” she said. “I’ve got a couple of top 10s this season but have not been finishing very often so it was good step for me.”
After a clear, cold night, the sunshine softened the snow and made for difficult conditions.
“It was definitely really warm for the second run,” Vonn said. “It was tough. I personally don’t do well with really soft conditions. I struggled a little bit and maybe didn’t ski as aggressively as I could have done. But I had two solid runs without major mistakes.”
Vonn is also an outside contender for the GS title. She has to win the race while leader Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany fails to score points.
Marcel Hirscher of Austria won the overall World Cup championship Saturday, overtaking Beat Feuz of Switzerland with a giant slalom victory at Schladming, Austria.
Hirscher captured the season’s final giant slalom to take the discipline title and go to the top of the overall standings. He holds a 25-point lead over Feuz, a speed specialist who said he won’t start Sunday’s slalom, the season’s last race.
“I don’t get it, unbelievable,” Hirscher said. “I was well behind couple of times this season. I told myself that the race today was the same as a race in January to take the pressure off.”
Hirscher is the fifth Austrian to win the overall title and the first since Benjamin Raich in 2006.
Hirscher had already secured the GS title after the opening run, in which rival Ted Ligety of Park City skied off course. Ligety, who won three GS titles in the past four seasons, trailed Hirscher by 92 points. With a victory worth 100 points, he had to win the race to stand a chance of overtaking the Austrian.
The American led by 0.43 seconds at the final intermediate time but skied off course.