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Ski cross athletes back on the podium

Chris DelBosco and Kelsey Serwa both second



After a rare week with no Canadians on the ski cross podium, the Canadian team battled back to the medals at Branas, Sweden this past weekend.

Chris DelBosco and Kelsey Serwa were both second in their respective races, and Serwa at least is still in the hunt for the overall World Cup title, sitting in third overall behind Anna Holmlund of Sweden and Germany's Heidi Zacher.

"It's a close game - one, two, three (in the standings) all within 50 points," she said. "In the end, whoever is best is going to win. It's not luck by any means.

"I've still got a long career ahead of me. Of course, the Crystal Globe would be amazing but I'm going to be in it for at least another three or four years."

Whistler's Marielle Thompson, a newcomer to the team this year, placed seventh overall - her best World Cup finish to date - with Danielle Polechuk in eighth. All three athletes ranked highly enough to qualify for the World Cup finals in Myrkdalen-Voss, Norway this weekend. Whistler's Ashleigh McIvor and Julia Murray would also have qualified, but are currently out with injuries.

Thompson was also injured at X Games, and even underwent surgery before returning to the World Cup circuit.

"On day two of training I crashed and tore a ligament in my thumb - actually did the other thumb too, but not as severely," said Thompson. She still turned out to the World Championships the following weekend with a splint and some athletic tape, and managed a 15th place finish.

After that she returned to B.C. to get surgery to repair the ligament while her teammates went on to Europe. A few weeks after that she was given the "all clear" by her surgeon to rejoin her teammates in Europe, as long as her thumb was well-protected.

At Branas, she focused on being more aggressive out of the start and it worked well enough to get her to the semi-finals. "I was hoping for finals there, but after making some mistakes in the semi-finals I'm happy with how I did," she said. "I'm definitely excited that I qualified for World Cup finals after not competing in Blue Mountain. I'm looking forward to racing and will be going in with more confidence with the race in Sweden still fresh in my mind. I've made small finals three times (finishing eighth twice before Branas) and will be looking for the podium next season, coming into it with no injuries."

On the men's side, Chris DelBosco also placed second, coming close to the win.

"It was tight racing," he said. "I didn't leave enough room going into the final straight.

"I've given myself a shot in pretty much every race down the stretch here. You always look to win but I've been really consistent. Any time you make the final you are skiing well."

Brian Bennett placed 10th, Nik Zoricic 13th, Dave Duncan 17th and Davey Barr 22nd. All five Canadian men are in the top 32 and advance to the World Cup final. The odd man out is Whistler's Stan Rey, who is out with an injury.




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