Skiing

Canadian Turski wins gold in slopestyle at European X Games

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The Canadian Press
3/21/2013 2:48:26 PM
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TIGNES, France -- Canada's Kaya Turski won her fourth straight European X Games title Thursday, taking the gold medal in women's slopestyle.

The Montreal native had a winning run of 93.33 points.

Norwegian Tiril Sjastad Christiansen, who beat Turski for gold at the Aspen X Games earlier this year, took the silver medal at 90.66.

Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont., was third with 88.33.

Turski stood out from the field with clean runs that showed controlled finesse on the rails and on the jumps.

"I felt really good coming into this week, especially after winning World Championships (earlier in the month) and solidifying my spot on the Canadian Team going to the Olympics," Turski said. "After Aspen getting the silver I really wanted to come back and prove myself and get into that top spot at X Games.

"I feel like I came here wanting to prove that I still have my spot in the sport, especially among all these new young girls with so much talent."

Howell, who's signature is an off-axis 720 jump, said it was actually her rail game that made the difference on the three-rail, three-jump course.

"I've never had that much fun on rails, but I was training them here the last couple of days and it seemed to go pretty well so I decided to try a couple of new tricks in my competition run because I figured I had nothing to lose," she said. "My coaches Toben (Sutherland) and JF (Cusson) are always pushing me to get better at my rails and so today I actually did two rail tricks I've never done in competition."

The results here secured Howell's nomination to join Canada's 26-athlete contingent to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games next February.

"Holy, it's kind of surreal and I have no words. But I called my mom and she started to cry," she said.

Turski leads the 2013 slopestyle rankings with 4603.35 total points, ahead of Howell with 4364.70 and Christiansen with 4230.78.

Yuki Tsubota of Pemberton, B.C. finished fifth at her European X Games debut with a score of 78.66 on her first run.

In the men's event, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand of Quebec City was fifth and Noah Morrison from Vernon, B.C. was eighth.

Kaya Turski (Photo: Richard Bord/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Richard Bord/Getty Images)
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