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Snowboarders solid at home

Sebastien 'Toots' Toutant takes gold medal in slopestyle at X Games

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Deborah Athonoiz of France picked up the bronze medal.

On the men's side, the top Canadian was Kevin Hill in fourth, behind Nick Baumgartner and Jonathan Cheever of the U.S., and David Speiser of Germany.

Rob Fagan was ninth, Francois Boivin 17th and Tom Velisek 26th.

Athletes from Asia dominated in the halfpipe event, though Australia was represented too.

Xuetong Cai of China finished first, followed by Holly Crawford of Australia and Haruna Matsumoto of Japan. Sarah Conrad was the top Canadian in seventh, with Calynn Irwin in 10th and Whistler's Mercedes Nicoll in 11th.

Ryo Aono, Taku Haraoka and Kazuumi Fumita of Japan were first through third, with Kosuke Hosokawa of Japan making the sweep even more complete in fourth place.

Brad Martin was the top Canadian in fifth, one spot ahead of Justin Lamoureux. Both Canadians are based in Squamish.

The final event was the parallel giant slalom. It was a big race for Matthew Morison, a usually reliable racer who has not been on a World Cup podium since December of 2009. Morison was eliminated in the semi-finals, but went on to win the small final dual against Rolan Fischnaller of Italy to take the bronze medal.

Benjamin Karl of Austria edged teammate Andreas Prommegger for the gold.

It was a nail-biter for Morison. He initially was placed fourth, but the judges later announced that Fischnaller had disqualified after failing to go completely around a gate on the lower part of the course.

"I hate to move into the bronze medal spot that way - you want to earn it - but I'll take it," said Morison. "It's great for my confidence. I am back in school this year, and it's been tough."

On the women's side, Caroline Calve came with a fraction of a second of her own bronze medal. "I cannot be satisfied," she said. "At the same time, to make the finals was really good for me. Going through the top eight and then to the top four is quite amazing, especially on home soil."

Prior to Stoneham, Calve had failed to make it through the qualifications into the final round.

Ekaterina Tudegesheva of Russia won her fourth race this season, followed by Claudia Riegler and Marion Kreiner of Austria.

Canadians Ariane Lavigne and Cora Follows were 22nd and 29th.

 

Canadians solid at Mount Baker Legendary Banked Slalom

Although she's temporarily sidelined from the World Cup with a broken hand and injured shoulder, Maëlle Ricker turned up at the Mount Baker Legendary Banked Slalom a week ago to defend her title from the previous four years.