Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates her victory in Levi with a reindeer she was allowed to name ©Getty Images

American Mikaela Shiffrin maintained her fine winning streak to come out on top in the first slalom race of the women's International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Cup season in Levi in Finland.

The 20-year-old Sochi 2014 Olympic champion has now won 10 World Cup slalom races in a row to establish herself as the dominant athlete in the discipline.

She clocked the fastest first run time of 56.09sec and was fourth quickest second time around in 56.62sec to claim a winning combined time of 1min 52.71sec.

Shiffrin won the first two slalom races of last season before a knee injury sidelined her for two months.

She returned in spectacular style by winning all three slalom events after her recovery and will be odds-on for the overall crown in the discipline this term, which she won for three consecutive years from 2013.

As is tradition in Levi, she was allowed to name a reindeer to toast her victory.

"I'm always more nervous at the first race of the season, and the other girls are not going to slow down," said Shiffrin. 

Defending slalom champion Frida Hansdotter skied out on run two and did not post a time ©Getty Images
Defending slalom champion Frida Hansdotter skied out on run two and did not post a time ©Getty Images

"But my coaches were very supportive and told me 'give your best and let your head get out of the way' and that helped. 

"I feel like I’m on track for the rest of the season."

Switzerland's overall Alpine Combined World Cup champion Wendy Holdener took silver today in a time of 1:53.38 with Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, the Winter Youth Olympic Games gold medallist at Innsbruck in 2012, taking bronze in 1:53.46.

Norway's Maren Skjoeld produced the quickest second run of 56.45sec but was only fifth overall in 1:54.52.

Frida Hansdotter, who won the overall slalom title for Sweden last season after benefiting from Shiffrin's injury, tied for second place after the first run but then skied out in the middle section during the second and did not post a time.

Shiffrin's success came after another US star, downhill and super-G specialist Lindsey Vonn, suffered another injury setback.

The Vancouver 2010 downhill Olympic champion crashed in training and fractured the humerus bone in her right arm.

The 32-year-old underwent successful surgery and faces an unspecified spell on the sidelines.

It comes after her campaign last season was finished prematurely, after a knee injury she suffered in Andorra in February.

That ended her hopes of winning the overall FIS World Cup title, which was eventually claimed by Switzerland's Lara Gut.

The men will contest their slalom race in Levi tomorrow.