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Sigge's Payak race in jeopardy

Sports briefs: Alpine skiers strong at Worlds

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The recent Pineapple Express conditions have left the organizers of Sigge's P'ayakentsut with a decision.

The race, commonly known as Sigge's Payak, is scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 1 at Ski Callaghan, but the warm weather has left the course unsuitable for competition.

"It is essential that the racecourse be safe for all participants, and that the event be fun and enjoyable," event chair Dirk Rohde said in a release. "Currently we cannot hold the race with the snow levels and condition of the stadium. We are very concerned about the warm weather in the forecast, it is melting away our course."

Organizers will meet Sunday, Feb. 22 to select one of three options for this year's fifth annual event. The first is to run the loppet on Feb. 28 and the kids' and youth events on March 1 as planned, the second is to bump back the proceedings by two weeks to March 14 and 15 and the third is to cancel the races entirely.

The race is the province's largest loppet and serves as a qualifier for the American Birkebeiner in Wisconsin. As of Feb. 16, over 430 racers had registered for the events.

Should the race go forward, competitors would be skiing for $3,400 in prize money in the 30- and 50-kilometre loppets. There is also an estimated $8,000 in draw prizes for which all entrants will be eligible.

For more information, visit www.payak.ca, follow @payakentsut on Twitter, or contact Rohde at 604-942-6410.

Skiers solid at worlds

Canada's alpine skiers loved the ladies' slalom event at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Vail-Beaver Creek, Colo. on Valentine's Day.

Two Canucks slid into the top 10 in the event, as Collingwood, Ont.'s Erin Mielzynski posted a two-run time of one minute, 39.98 seconds (1:39.98) to finish the day in sixth. Meanwhile, Lac-Etchemin, Que.'s Marie-Michele Gagnon scored a 1:41.41 to end the day in 10th.

"Today feels really great. I had two solid runs. It wasn't enough for a podium but someone said the other day that there are a lot of things that come before a podium," Mielzynski told the Alpine Canada website.

The defending World Champion, American Mikaela Shiffrin, ended up winning the race in thrilling fashion, slipping out of the lead in the first two intervals before recovering to take the victory. Shiffrin posted a time of 1:38.48 to Sweden's Frida Hansdotter's 1:38.82.

On the men's side, Ottawa's Dustin Cook posted a strong showing in the giant slalom on Feb. 13 with a career-best 12th place finish in the event. It followed up a silver-medal showing in the super-G earlier in the World Championships.

Trevor Philp finished in 18th in a pair of races, posting the result in Feb. 15's slalom and Feb. 13's giant slalom.

In the slalom, the Calgarian notched a time of 2:01.02 compared to the winning time of 1:57.47 posted by Jean-Baptiste Grange of France. Erik Read, also of Calgary, was 24th with a time of 2:02.62.

Trampoline athletes bring home medals

Whistler Gymnastics athletes hauled home a load of medals from the Aaron Johnson Memorial Cup hosted by New Westminster's Shasta Trampoline Club over Family Day weekend.

Level 1 athlete Matthew Roth-Waldman took two golds in trampoline and double mini trampoline, while Joe Davies did exactly the same in Level 4. Level 3 athlete Gigi Kranjc was the only local to take three medals, completing the set with gold in tumbling, silver in double mini, and bronze in trampoline. Sydney Lovell-Schmidt, meanwhile, captured a Level 3 trampoline gold and silver in the double mini trampoline, while the team's final gold medal rests in the hands of Jett Williams, who also won Level 3 trampoline.

Rookie Matthew Susko won silver in the double mini and bronze in trampoline at Level 1, while Level 4's Gabby Flynn won silver in tumbling and bronze in trampoline.

Ella Soan took a bronze in Level 1 tumbling, while Devon Douglas also competed with a top result of seventh in Level 2 double mini trampoline.

Lugers medal at World Championships

Canada's lugers rallied to impress in the team relay event at the FIL World Championships in Sigulda, Latvia on Feb. 15.

About a year after the team finished a heart-breaking fourth at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the foursome of Alex Gough, Sam Edney, Justin Snith and Tristan Walker climbed up to grab a bronze with a combined time of two minutes, 14.129 seconds (2:14.129).

"It was enjoyable to get on the podium in Latvia after having the Latvian team snuff us one year ago at the Olympics for that bronze medal," Edney said in a release. "Our team needed this result overall. It hasn't come as easy to us this year as it has in the past. It's clear to us other nations have caught up and are set on raising the bar so winning a bronze medal on a track like Sigulda means a lot to our entire team, and we are thrilled to bring it home for Canada."

The German team posted a time of 2:13.152 to claim the title.

In singles action at the event, Gough was just short of winning her third World Championships medal, finishing fifth with a two-run time of 1:24.616. Gough was solid in the early parts of her runs, but lost some time late in the race that cost her a spot on the podium. Germany's Natalie Geisenberger was tops with a time of 1:24.142.

"I was really only less than a tenth out of third," Gough said in a release, referring to bronze medallist Tatjana Huefner of Germany's 1:24.463. "It was a tight race and I fell out on the wrong side of a fraction of a second and sometimes that's just how it goes with racing."

Meanwhile, Edney placed 17th with a time of 1:37.597 while winner Semen Pavlichenko of Russia scored a 1:36.288.

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