Canada’s Marielle Thompson wins silver at ski cross World Cup event in Italy

INNICHEN, Italy — Canada’s Marielle Thomspon dominated her heats, winning silver on Saturday in a ski-cross World Cup event in Italy.

Thompson, from Whistler, B.C., was bested only by Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund as she earned her 33rd career-podium on the World Cup circuit.

“After (Friday’s) fourth place, I definitely wanted to step it up a notch,” said Thompson. “I skied well yesterday, but I was definitely better today — attacked, all the way down, every single run, and I’m really happy with second. Three finals in three races — I’m really stoked to come back from injury and be back where I wanted. I’m happy to be going home with a couple podiums.”

In her inaugural World Cup season, 21-year-old Mikayla Martin of Squamish, B.C., skied into her first small final, earning a career-best sixth-place finish and besting her earlier standout result of ninth earned in Arosa, Switzerland, last week.

“I came into the day just wanting to ski my best,” said Martin. “This whole tour has been such a big learning curve, that I was trying to put everything together for the last race before Christmas. Not everything went perfectly, but I was able to put bits and pieces together and I’m proud of the way I finished.”

Kelsey Serwa of Kelowna, B.C., India Sherret of Cranbrook, B.C., and Edmonton’s Abby McEwen finished 10th, 11th and 14th respectively, while Brittany Phelan of Mont-Tremblant, Que., settled for 17th.

On the men’s side, Reece Howden of Cultus Lake, B.C., powered to a fifth-place, edging out Calgary’s Brady Leman, who placed sixth.

“It’s been an amazing month-and-a-half here in Europe. The first two races (in Arosa, Switzerland, and in Innichen on Friday) were just big learning experiences for me – I was just trying to take away as much

Toronto’s Kevin Drury finished 15th after placing fourth in his quarter-final heat, while Zach Belczyk of Banff, Alta., Montreal’s Chris Del Bosco and Kevin MacDonald of Mississauga, Ont., were unable to move on past the qualification run and placed 27th, 34th and 35th respectively.

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