Slovakia's Petra Vlhová and the United States Mikaela Shiffrin are the top contenders in the women's Alpine skiing event at the Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

The United States' Mikaela Shiffrin and Slovakian Petra Vlhová will renew their rivalry in Alpine skiing at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, with the slalom specialists expected to be the main contenders in the women's events at the Xiaohaituo Alpine Skiing Field in Yanqing District.

The pair are separated by just 17 points in the International Ski Federation Alpine Ski World Cup standings with 1,026 and 1,009 points respectively, with the American holding a marginal lead.

Third in the overall table is the 2019-2020 World Cup champion Federica Brignone from Italy, far back on 772.

Vlhová wrapped up the slalom Crystal Globe title by finishing second behind Shiffrin in Schladming in January with two races to spare, winning five of the seven so far this season.

Shiffrin was victorious in the other two races, as well as two giant slalom legs, meaning she is a contender for two titles at Beijing 2022. 

Sweden's Sara Hector, who has had a breakthrough season, will be regarded the favourite in the giant slalom with three victories and five podiums in the discipline to her name from six races.

The other winner in giant slalom is France's flagbearer Tessa Worley.

Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia of Italy will have an anxious wait to defend her title at a venue located 75 kilometres northwest of Beijing fter spraining her ankle, partially tearing her anterior cruciate ligament, getting a minor fracture of the fibula and tendon damage at a World Cup race in Cortina d'Ampezzo. 

Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia of Italy  may not be able to defend her women's downhill title at Beijing 2022 due to injury ©Getty Images
Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia of Italy may not be able to defend her women's downhill title at Beijing 2022 due to injury ©Getty Images

Goggia pulled out of competing in other Alpine skiing events to rehabilitate for the downhill, but if she is unable to compete, Corinne Suter of Switzerland has found form again at the appropriate time, winning the week before the Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Her compatriots Brignone and Elena Curtoni will be among the favourites in the super-G too.

Switzerland's Marco Odermatt is the giant slalom World Cup leader in the men's competition and is dominant in the overall standings too.

He will go head-to-head with Aleksander Aamodt Kilde in the super-G and downhill too, in which the Norwegian leads the standings.

These events will likely feature Austrians Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmayr near the top, as well as Switzerland's Beat Feruz and Dominik Paris of Italy.

Alexis Pinturault of France, who is the defending World Cup champion, is not in the form of last season, but will be among the giant slalom contenders with Odermatt, as well as Manuel Feller of Austria and Henrik Kristoffersen from Norway.

Norway's Lucas Braathen and Sebastian Foss-Solevåg could also bring home a one-two in the slalom too, having both claimed victories this season.

Competition is set to get underway tomorrow in the men's downhill, with the last event scheduled for February 19.