Hirscher, Ligety earn World Cup season titles
Marcel Hirscher of Austria and Ted Ligety of Park City, Utah, emerged winners Saturday at the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Hirscher scored enough points by finishing fourth in the giant slalom to clinch the sport’s most prestigious prize, the overall World Cup title, for a third straight season.
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“My big goal was the overall World Cup title, and I got it and I’m so happy,” said Hirscher, the first man to win three in a row since Yakima native Phil Mahre in 1983.
Ligety, meanwhile, won the race and the duel with Hirscher for the seasonlong giant-slalom trophy, which the Olympic champion lifted for a fifth time.
In eight giant-slalom events this season, Ligety and Hirscher each earned 560 points. Ligety won the title on the basis of more victories — five to two.
Before the men’s race entered World Cup lore, Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin of Eagle-Vail, Colo., ended an exceptional slalom season in a class of her own.
Two days after her 19th birthday, Shiffrin got her fifth World Cup victory this season by a huge 1.44-second margin over runner-up Frida Hansdotter of Sweden.
“Everybody thinks that this is impossible: You can’t win a race by 1.4 anymore, you can’t win the Olympics at 18,” Shiffrin said.
“I guess my secret is not letting people tell me I can’t do it.”
Celski gets silver medal
J.R. Celski of Federal Way earned a silver medal in the 500-meter final at the world championships in Montreal.
Wu Dajing of China won in 40.526 seconds, and Celski’s time was 40.582. Charles Hamelin of Canada was third in 40.623.
Djokovic, Federer win
Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat American John Isner 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1 to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
Djokovic will resume his longtime rivalry with Roger Federer of Switzerland in a matchup of former top-ranked players.
Federer, seeking a fifth Indian Wells title, beat Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1 in the other semifinal match.
Federer, who is 17-15 against Djokovic, injured his back during a match at Indian Wells last year and took nearly a month to feel better. After Wimbledon, he reinjured his back and found himself questioning everything, leading to an uneven year.
Back in the desert again, the 32-year-old Federer feels like a new man.
“I can wake up in the morning without feeling sore,” he said. “I can go to bed not feeling like I hope I feel better tomorrow.”
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Flavia Pennetta of Italy, who won semifinal matches Friday, will meet in the women’s final Sunday before the men’s title is decided.
• The United States successfully defended its Paralympic ice sledge hockey title by beating host Russia 1-0 in the final in Sochi.
Former U.S. Marine Josh Sweeney scored in the second period.
• Jarome Iginla scored twice as NHL Eastern Conference-leading Boston beat visiting Carolina 5-1 to extend its winning streak to eight games.
• Montreal’s David Desharnais tied the score in the final second of regulation and Francis Bouillon scored 1:26 into overtime as the host Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in an NHL thriller. Ottawa failed to protect a 4-1 lead.
• Johny Hendricks of Dallas won the vacant welterweight championship, unanimously outpointing Robbie Lawler of Coconut Creek, Fla., in five rounds at UFC 171 in Dallas.
All three judges scored the fight 28-27. The 170-pound title was vacated by Georges St. Pierre, who had held it since 2007.
• Horse racing was a contact sport down the stretch of the $600,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., as Hoppertunity brushed with Tapiture and survived an inquiry by track stewards.
Former Mount Vernon resident Mike Pegram is among the owners of Hoppertunity, who is trained by Bob Baffert. The colt, with Mike Smith up, ran 1 1/16 miles on a wet-fast track in 1 minute, 43.90 seconds, prevailed by a half-length and paid $14.20 to win in the Grade II race.
Seattle Times news services