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Hirscher makes history with fourth consecutive win

A withdrawal from Norway's Kjetil Jansrud has handed Marcel Hirscher his fourth consecutive overall World Cup title. It's a feat that has never been managed before in men's alpine skiing.

Austria's Marcel Hirscher became the first men's skier to win a fourth straight men's overall World Cup title on Saturday after Norway's Kjetil Jansrud withdrew from Sunday's season-ending slalom.

"It's official, I'm super glad. It's incredible. The pressure is completely off now," Hirscher told Austrian television afterwards.

After finishing 11th on Saturday, Jansrud was "90 percent" certain of not racing on Sunday and that much was confirmed when his name was not on the start list published by the International Ski Federation (FIS) on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Austrian equals countryman Hermann Maier, Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland and Gustav Thoeni of Italy with four World Cup overall titles, and is one behind five-time winner Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg. Having already secured the giant slalom trophy, Hirscher can also win the slalom crystal globe but goes into Sunday's race 55 points behind Germany's Felix Neureuther.

The women's overall title is still up for grabs in Sunday's final women's giant slalom. Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States made sure of the slalom title for a third successive year, while Slovenia's Tina Maze took a narrow overall lead over defending champion Anna Fenninger of Austria going into the season's last day.

"It is incredible. A lot has happened this season with a lot of changes," Shiffrin said afterwards. "I am only 20 and have achieved so much."

jh/rd (Reuters, dpa)