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Shiffrin returns to World Cup after recovering from COVID-19

Shiffrin missed two races last week, due to a positive COVID-19 test, but remained in the lead of the overall World Cup standings.

ZAGREB, Croatia — Mikaela Shiffrin is set to return to the women’s World Cup at a slalom on Tuesday, eight days after a positive COVID-19 test that forced her out of two technical races in Austria last week.

Shiffrin had a negative test on Monday afternoon before the American’s name appeared on the official start list for the race released by the International Ski Federation.

“See you tomorrow, Zagreb,” Shiffrin wrote on Instagram.

Shiffrin, who has won the event four times since 2013, will wear bib No. 7. The first run starts at 12:30 p.m. local time (1130 GMT - 6:30 a.m. Eastern time); the second run at 4:05 p.m. (1505 GMT - 10:05 a.m. Eastern time), and this course will be set by Shiffrin’s coach, Mike Day.

However, Shiffrin's American teammate, Nina O’Brien, is among a group of racers missing Tuesday’s race as the coronavirus is increasingly affecting the women’s circuit, less than five weeks before the Beijing Olympics.

The group sidelined for Tuesday’s race also includes at least three Swiss skiers -- Camille Rast, Aline Danioth and Mélanie Meillard -- as well as two Austrians, a Norwegian, and an Italian.

One of the Austrians, Franziska Gritsch, said in November it was her “personal decision” not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. She was not allowed to travel to the Nov. 27-28 tech races in Killington, Vermont, for that reason.

Shiffrin missed a giant slalom and a slalom in Lienz last week but remained in the lead of the overall World Cup standings, 93 points ahead of Sofia Goggia. The Italian speed specialist, who has not competed in slalom for five years, is absent in Croatia.

Credit: AP
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin prepares to start of the alpine ski, women's World Cup giant slalom race in Courchevel, France, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Giovanni Maria Pizzato)

Petra Vlhova, who is Shiffrin’s main rival in slalom, won the race in Austria last week and increased her lead over the American in the discipline standings to 120 points after four of nine races.

Vlhova, who will open the slalom on Tuesday, has won the floodlit race in Zagreb for the past two years.

No spectators will be allowed at the race on the outskirts of the Croatian capital, which usually is among the best-visited races on the women’s calendar.

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