Switzerland's Lara Gut Behrami holds up the trophy for the...

Switzerland's Lara Gut Behrami holds up the trophy for the alpine ski, women's World Cup giant slalom discipline, in Saalbach, Austria, Sunday, March 17, 2024. Credit: AP/Marco Trovati

SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM, Austria — Lara Gut-Behrami has completed half of her mission to win four crystal globes this Alpine skiing World Cup season.

And the Swiss star hasn't even had to show her best skiing yet.

Gut-Behrami secured the overall and giant slalom titles Sunday after finishing 10th in the GS at the World Cup finals.

Her only remaining challenger in both classifications, Federica Brignone, won the race but that was not enough for the Italian, who could only overtake Gut-Behrami if the Swiss star had finished outside the top 15 and failed to score points.

“It's unbelievable, the GS has always been so important to me,” said Gut-Behrami. “I always knew, if I'm skiing fast in GS, then I'm skiing fast also in super-G and downhill.”

Gut-Behrami became the first female skier from Switzerland since Sonja Nef in 2002 to win the giant slalom title, though she won the world title in the discipline in 2021.

“To win a globe 22 years after Sonja Nef, to keep like the tradition we have, such an amazing tradition of skiing in Switzerland, so I'm also proud about that," said Gut-Behrami. "I was really nervous today, because I really wanted to win that. I skied so bad, I was just nervous, so I'm not surprised about that.”

Italy's Federica Brignone competes during the first run of an...

Italy's Federica Brignone competes during the first run of an alpine ski, women's World Cup giant slalom race, in Saalbach, Austria, Sunday, March 17, 2024. Credit: AP/Marco Trovati

Gut-Behrami is a strong favorite to add the season titles in super-G and downhill next week, which would make her the fourth female skier to win four classifications in one season, after Lindsey Vonn, Tina Maze and, most recently, Mikaela Shiffrin achieved the feat.

On Sunday, Gut-Behrami avoided risks in both runs, posting only the eighth and 17th fastest times.

“What would you do? I learned that sometimes you just have to stay safe, try to cross the finish line,” she said. “Of course, not the best way to end the GS season talking about skiing, but is the best way to end the season with a globe.”

It’s the second overall championship for Gut-Behrami after winning it in 2016, the last year before Shiffrin’s reign started.

Switzerland's Lara Gut Behrami competes during the first run of...

Switzerland's Lara Gut Behrami competes during the first run of an alpine ski, women's World Cup giant slalom race, in Saalbach, Austria, Sunday, March 17, 2024. Credit: AP/Marco Trovati

A five-time overall champion, Shiffrin won the title the last two years and led the standings again this season, but the American dropped out of the race when she sustained a knee injury in a crash during a downhill in Italy in January.

Shiffrin ended her season Saturday after winning her second straight race after her six-week layoff.

Gut-Behrami passed Shiffrin after winning a GS in Andorra in February before crowning a consistent season in which she has had eight wins and finished outside the top six just four times.

Gut-Behrami, who turns 33 next month, is the oldest overall champion and only the second skier to win the sport’s biggest prize in her 30s, after fellow Swiss standout Vreni Schneider, who was 30 when she won the last or her three overall titles in 1994-95.

Brignone dominated the season-ending event, winning it by a massive 1.36 seconds from Alice Robinson of New Zealand. Thea Louise Stjernesund of Norway was 1.67 behind in third.

“(Winning the race) was my focus for today,” said Brignone after her 12th career GS win and 27th overall. “I gave everything. In the second run I had a big mistake so I thought it was gone, but it was wonderful.”

The next women's race at the finals is the super-G on Friday.

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