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Canadian Thompson wins women's ski cross event

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The Canadian Press
3/3/2012 2:59:51 PM
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BRANAS, Sweden -- Marielle Thompson's breakout year in World Cup ski cross continued Saturday.

The 19-year-old Canadian led the women's final from start to finish to move into the lead in the ladies' overall standings.

"It's definitely a good sport to be standing in going into the final races," the Whistler, B.C., resident said on a conference call. "I'm still thinking about skiing how I've been skiing -- skiing smart and keeping my confidence up."

Thompson, who leads second-place Ophelie David of France by 10 points, got out of the gate quickly in the final and avoided a collision that took out some of her competitors.

"The start was definitely a big part of the race. Getting out in front definitely helped," said Thompson, who also won at Blue Mountain, Ont., on Feb. 3. "I heard a few screams out of the start, some girls getting tangled up, so I was glad I got out of there."

Emilie Serain of Switzerland was second, while David was third.

On the men's side, Calgary's Brady Leman made it to the final but had to settle for fourth. Despite missing the podium, the 25-year-old moved back into first place in the men's overall standings with 425 points.

"It's definitely pretty cool to wear the leader's bib around and be in this position," Leman said. "If you asked me at the start of the season if I would have been World Cup leader heading into final, I would have probably said 'No'.

"My goal at the start of the season was to finish top-3 with a good year."

Finland's Jouni Pellinen won Saturday's race, while Slovenia's Filip Flisar was second and Andreas Matt of Austria was third.

Switzerland's Alex Fiva, who finished seventh, is second in the overall standings behind Leman with 418 points.

World champion Chris Del Bosco of Montreal went out in the quarter-finals after a teammate lost control in front of him.

Canada has won the ski cross Nations' Cup team award the past three seasons but has never won an individual ski cross Crystal Globe.

The last two World Cup races of the season are scheduled for next weekend in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

Ski Cross (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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