Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin wins WCup slalom opener

LEVI, Finland (AP) Mikaela Shiffrin held on to a comfortable opening-run lead to win the first women's World Cup slalom of the season on Saturday.

The Olympic and world champion from the United States finished 0.67 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Wendy Holdener, and Slovakia's Petra Vlhova came 0.75 back in third.

The rest of the field trailed Shiffrin by at least a second, while Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, who was runner-up after the opening leg, failed to finish her second run.

It was Shiffrin's 20th career slalom win and 21st overall. She has won all nine slaloms that she has competed in since February 2015. However, Hansdotter took the slalom title last season as Shiffrin missed five races because of a knee injury.