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Snowboarder back on the podium


Female racer makes Canadian history

The Canadian Snowboard Team is finishing the season on a high note with medals in two events and a record-breaking performance in another at Mount Bachelor in Oregon last weekend.

Alexa Loo of Whistler and Richmond posted the best World Cup result ever by a Canadian woman in an alpine event with a fifth place finish in the parallel giant slalom.

"Canadian women can do better than this, and we need to build from this result and build soon," said Loo, whose previous best finish this season was 17th. "This gives me a lot of confidence, knowing I can compete with the best on the World Cup."

Loo was poised to move into the medal rounds and was actually ahead of her competition in the semi-finals when she made a mistake in the flats.

The gold went to Daniela Meuli of Switzerland, followed by Manuela Riegler of Austria and Ursula Bruhin of Switzerland.

In the men’s PGS, overall World Cup leader Jasey-Jay Anderson was also knocked out in the semi-finals, finishing in sixth place. The win went to Heinz Inniger of Switzerland, followed by Mathieu Bozzetto of France. Swiss rider Urs Eiselin was third.

On the following day Vernon’s Drew Neilson earned a silver medal to go with the gold and bronze he won the week before in Japan, stepping onto the podium for his third consecutive event.

"That one was exciting," said Neilson. "It was so much fun riding down that track today."

Anderson also had a strong finish, coming back after a disappointing semi-final run to win the small final and finish fifth.

The win in the men’s event went to Xavier Delerue of France. Italy’s Alberto Schiavon was third.

In the women’s race Dominique Maltais of Charlevoix, Quebec narrowly missed a medal with a fourth place finish. Vancouver’s Erin Simmons was ninth.

In the big air on Sunday, Ontario rider Neil Connolly just missed landing on the podium yet again with a fourth place finish. Sweden’s Simon Ax took the gold, Florian Mausser of Austria the silver and Andreas Jakobsson of Sweden the bronze.

The World Cup finals take place this weekend at Bardonecchia, Italy with parallel giant slalom, snowboard cross, halfpipe and big air events.