Hirscher wins alpine skiing after Kristoffersen snowball drama

Austria's Marcel Hirscher competes during the men's slalom event in Schladming, Austria on January 23, 2018

Home favourite Marcel Hirscher produced a blistering second run to pip Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen to victory in Tuesday's World Cup night slalom race at Schladming.

The race was marred, though, when home fans threw snowballs at Kristoffersen during his final run.

The 23-year-old avoided all the projectiles, but was understandably angry after his run.

"It really pissed me off, it's a lack of respect, especially as I love Austria and Schladming is a bit of a home race for me," said the 23-year-old, who lives in the Salzburg region.

Hirscher added: "It's happened to me before, it's not great."

Austrian Hirscher led by just two tenths of a second after the opening run and stormed to the quickest second effort of the evening to win by 0.39 seconds.

The 28-year-old, who is bidding for a seventh consecutive overall World Cup crown, extended his lead at the top of the overall standings to 174 points from Kristoffersen.

The Norwegian had beaten Hirscher in Kitzbuehel on Sunday, but he responded in style to the delight of a large crowd.

The 54th win of his World Cup career draws Hirscher level with Austrian great Hermann Maier in second place on the men's all-time list, behind only Ingemar Stenmark's mark of 86 victories.

"I try not to give too much importance to it (equalling Maier), to think of something else, but it's true that it's incredible," Hirscher told Australian television.

A ninth success of the season, six of which have come in the slalom and three in giant slalom, also laid down a marker ahead of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where Hirscher will bid for his maiden Olympic gold medal.

"It's great to have won, but it doesn't mean much for the Olympics, it will be totally different there," Hirscher insisted.

Switzerland's Daniel Yule, 24, came third for the second time in three days, having never previously finished on a World Cup podium.

Earlier on Tuesday, Schladming and fellow Austrian resort Graz had announced they are planning a joint bid to host the 2026 Winter Games.