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Maze leads Shiffrin in World Cup slalom race

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GRAHAM DUNBAR | March 16, 2013 05:29 AM EST | AP

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LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — Tina Maze took a big lead over Mikaela Shiffrin in the first run of their showdown for the World Cup slalom title on Saturday.

Maze clocked the fastest time of 57.67 seconds at the World Cup finals to sit 1.17 seconds ahead of the American teenager, who is fourth.

Kathrin Zettel of Austrian was second, 0.58 behind Maze. Another Austrian, Bernadette Schild, was third with 0.66 to make up in the second run.

Maze of Slovenia leads Shiffrin by just seven points in the standings, meaning either one would clinch the season-long slalom title with a victory on Saturday.

Maze has already clinched the overall World Cup with a record points total, along with the discipline titles in super-G and giant slalom.

Shiffrin, who turned 18 Wednesday, won slalom gold at the world championships last month.