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Forsyth strong in Italy

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Allison Forsyth of Nanaimo put it on the line in Europe last weekend and came up with two of the strongest Canadian finishes in World Cup ski racing this season.

At Sestriere, Italy, the 22-year-old Forsyth silenced critics with a solid sixth place finish in the giant slalom. She was a DNF at her two previous races in November.

Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria had the fastest time of the day in her first run, and wisely played it a little safer in her second to post a combined time of two minutes 19.88 seconds. Sweden’s Anja Paerson was closest to catching up, and pulled with .83 seconds of Dorfmeister in her second run. Sonja Nef was a close third, just 0.04 seconds back of Paerson.

Forsyth was temporarily in fourth position after her second run, but Martina Ertl of Germany, the current World Cup leader, and Janica Kostelic of Croatia managed to pass her with strong second runs of their own.

Canadians Emily Brydon and Whistler’s Britt Janyk failed to qualify for the second run, finishing 32 nd and 38 th respectively.

On day two of the competition, a slalom event, Forsyth finished 16 th . Emily Brydon did not qualify for that event.

The gold medal went to Kostelic, her third slalom victory this season. She had the fastest time of the day on her final run. Sarah Schleper of the U.S. stunned everyone by finishing a close second, the best finish of her career. Third place went to Trine Bakke of Norway.

Forsyth was happy with her performance in Italy, and feels she is back in form.

"I’m getting there," said Forsyth. "Sixteenth in slalom is fine with me, especially since I did not ski my best today. I can ski faster but it was again important to come through to confirm my FIS ranking in slalom.

"It was a tough course which favours me because you have to ski with a lot of pressure on the skis. I feel physically and mentally strong, especially now that I have been able to come through three times in a row in the technical events. I have gained confidence and momentum. I know that I can do better and I hope to show it in 10 days at the next race."

Claudia Riegler of New Zealand was leading after her first run, but fell on her second run.

Martina Ertl managed to finish fourth, increasing her lead in the FIS point rankings.

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