American Mikaela Shiffrin wins Olympic gold in giant slalom

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Mikaela Shiffrin reacts as she crosses the finish line to win gold in the women’s giant slalom on Thursday in Pyeongchang, South Korea. | Getty Images

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — American Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the women’s giant slalom in her Pyeongchang Olympic debut.

She used a hard-charging final run to win her second career Olympic gold medal.

The 22-year-old American standout trailed by 0.20 seconds heading into the last run, but made up ground in no time by powering through ruts that had developed on the course.

Shiffrin finished 0.39 seconds ahead of Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel at Yongpyong Alpine Center. Federica Brignone of Italy captured bronze, 0.46 behind Shiffrin’s combined time of 2 minutes, 20.02 seconds. First-run leader Manuela Moelgg of Italy wound up eighth.

At the 2014 Sochi Games, Shiffrin won the slalom crown at age 18. She will defend that title Friday.

There were still 37 lower-ranked ski racers left to go, all of whom were well back of the leaders after the first run.

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