Hirscher leads an Austrian 1-2-3 in 1st slalom run at worlds

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) Marcel Hirscher regained his slalom world title on Sunday and confirmed his status as the standout skier of the world championships.

Hirscher held his first-run lead to finish 0.68 seconds faster than Austrian teammate Manuel Feller, who had been only seventh fastest in the morning run.

Celebrating his victory, the 27-year-old Hirscher raised both arms in the air and skidded to a sudden stop deep in the finish area before falling to the snow.

Felix Neureuther earned Germany's first medal of the championships, taking bronze 0.93 behind his long-time rival . Neureuther also won bronze two years ago when Hirscher blew a first-run lead.

Hirscher, who edged Neureuther for slalom gold in 2013, also leaves St. Moritz with a gold medal in giant slalom and silver in combined.

Arriving at the two-week championships, Hirscher was the five-time defending World Cup overall champion with a clear lead in the current standings over Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway and France's Alexis Pinturault.

Hirscher now has four career world titles in individual events, and seven medals in total. Still, an Olympic gold medal has eluded him.

Hirscher clearly outperformed both his main rivals in the sun-soaked Swiss Alps.

World Cup slalom champion Kristoffersen was 0.11 behind Neureuther, giving Norway an unwanted streak of placing skiers fourth in all five men's events.

Kristoffersen also placed fourth in Hirscher's giant slalom victory on Friday, and he was fourth in slalom at the 2015 worlds in Vail-Beaver Creek, Colorado.

By failing to complete the first run, French star Pinturault leaves without winning a medal in his four individual events.

Britain and Russia both threatened to end their records of never winning a men's medal since the Alpine ski world championships started in 1931.

Dave Ryding and Alexander Khoroshilov were well placed after the first run Sunday but placed 11th and fifth, respectively.

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