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Swiss skier Odermatt wins GS, sets World Cup points record


SOLDEU, Andorra — Marco Odermatt underlined his dominance in men’s ski racing Saturday by breaking the 23-year-old male record for most World Cup points in a single season.

The Swiss standout won his last race of the season, the giant slalom at the World Cup Finals, by a massive 2.11 seconds over second-place Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway.

The victory lifted Odermatt’s tally to 2,042 points and past the previous mark of 2,000 set by Austrian great Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.

“Sorry, Hermann,” Odermatt quipped in a post-race interview with Austrian TV, adding the record meant “a lot” to him.

“The past days I always said: no no, not so important, just numbers,” Odermatt said. “But like I felt today with the pressure again, I knew it was more important than I said. I’m very happy that it worked.”

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Last week, Maier wrote on his website he hoped that Odermatt would overtake him.

“In my eyes Marco hasn’t even reached his zenith and can still improve, especially in downhill,” Maier said.

Theoretically, Odermatt had a chance to add even more points in Sunday’s season-ending slalom, but he sits it out as he has never raced in that event on World Cup level.

The overall record, between men and women, is held by Slovenian standout Tina Maze, who accrued 2,414 points when she won the women’s overall title in 2013.

Odermatt, who is the Olympic champion, matched another best mark with his 13th win of the season. No male skier has ever won more races in one campaign, and only Maier, Ingemar Stenmark and Marcel Hirscher achieved the feat in the past.

The overall record here is held by Mikaela Shiffrin, who won 17 times on her way to the 2018-19 women’s overall title.

Odermatt had already successfully defended his overall title and secured the super-G and GS discipline globes.

“I was looking forward to finals without pressure, but today I felt this pressure again,” he said. “Today it wasn’t easy, I was nervous again because of 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 final run as he built on his clear lead from the first run, when he was 1.09 seconds faster than Alexis Pinturault. The French skier then dropped to eighth.

Kristoffersen ranked only eighth after the opening leg before climbing to second position. Marco Schwarz of Austria finished 2.29 behind in third.

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