Austrian skier Hirscher wins record sixth World Cup title

Austria's Marcel Hirscher in action during the World Cup men's giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, on March 4, 2017

Austrian Marcel Hirscher wrote himself into the history books Saturday, his victory in the giant slalom guaranteeing him a record sixth consecutive overall World Cup title.

Hirscher's sixth crystal globe bettered the record of Luxembourg's Marc Girardelli (1985, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993) and equalled the ladies' mark set by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proll (1971-1975, 1979).

In winning the rain-hit giant slalom in the Slovenian resort of Kranjska Gora, Hirscher also walked away with the discipline's title, becoming only the third man to win the GS globe at least three seasons in a row, following Gustav Thoni (1970-1972) and Ingemar Stenmark (1975-1981).

Hirscher, who won the slalom/giant slalom golds at last month's St Moritz world championships, topped the first run with a massive 0.96sec lead over Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen.

But the 28-year-old Salzburg native was made to wait for his triumph as rain and fog swept in, leading to very bad visibility in the upper section of the course.

The race was interrupted after the first 20 skiers down the second run in the hope of the fog lifting and to allow course workers time to add salt in a desperate bid to harden the surface.

Hirscher watched on as Kristoffersen and Switzerland's Justin Murisier, third after the first run, both lost crucial time in the poor visibility to eventually drop down the field.

The Austrian also lost a full second in the top section, but regathered his nerve to turn on the afterburners and maintain his lead, coming in 0.46sec ahead of Norwegian Leif Kristian Haugen with a combined time of 2min 24.31sec.

It was his third victory in the Slovenian resort and 44th on the World Cup circuit

Sweden's Matts Olsson rounded out the podium, at 0.67sec.

"Conditions were definitely not easy," Hirscher said. "There was a lot of waiting in the rain.

"It was a pretty hard and tough fight, that second run.

"You try your best as every athlete does," Hirscher said, adding: "I'm super, super happy. What a day."

His victory left him on 1,375 points in the overall standings, an unsurmountable 504 ahead of Norway's Kjetil Jansrud.

France's Alexis Pinturault blew any chance of pushing for the giant slalom globe by having another day to forget, skiing out on the first descent. Hirscher now has 633pts in the giant slalom standings, 194 ahead of the Frenchman.