By Michael Pavitt

Alexander Khoroshilov made Russian skiing history in front of a packed crowd in Austria ©Getty ImagesThe final International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup before the 2015 World Championships in Schladming saw Alexander Khoroshilov create history, as he became the first Russian to win a men's event for 34 years.

After a flawless first run in the Austrian resort the 30-year-old Khoroshilov topped the standings and raised the prospect of becoming the first Russian man to stand atop a World Cup podium since Alexander Zhirov won his last race in March 1981 in Laax, Switzerland, when Leonid Brezhnev was still leader of the old Soviet Union. 

Khoroshilov achieved the landmark victory in a second run which was impressive, not only for its execution, but for the Russian's composure in completing the job in limited visibility, as he finished in a combined time of 1min 46.39sec, to beat Italy's Stefano Gross, who finished 1.44sec adrift.

"I was able to put together two good runs, I had a good feeling on skis all along and when you feel good you can ski fast," said Khoroshilov.

"There was a lot of pressure on me after the first run and maybe I don't show it a lot as I try to block it out and stay focused."

The top three of the slalom event was completed by Germany's Felix Neureuther, who currently sits at the top of the World Cup standings, 66 points ahead of the Marcel Hirscher, with the Austrian only able to finish in 14th place in front of a home crowd.

Felix Neureuther continued his good form ahead of next weeks World Championships with another podium finishFelix Neureuther continued his good form ahead of next week's World Championships, with another podium finish ©Getty Images

Neureuther admitted after the race that he was impressed by how the Russian had handled winning the World Cup event and making history.

"If I had won my first World Cup and did so after leading in the first run and finishing 1.44 seconds ahead I would totally have freaked out," said Neureuther.

"It was pretty impressive how cool he was after winning the race, and I have huge respect for what he did today."

The World Cup leader has finished on the podium in the last three events and will be hoping his good form continues with the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships due to begin next week in Vail and Beaver Creek, United States, and which are taking place from February 2 to 15.

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