Leman leads strong Canadian performance, capturing bronze; Marielle Thompson narrowly misses back-to-back podiums, edged out for fourth
Innichen, ITA (Dec. 21, 2018) – Brady Leman knew he had to ski clean to reach the podium on Friday. In a tight, closely reviewed finish, Leman raced to a third-place finish for his fourth career podium in Innichen – the steepest and iciest track on the ski cross World Cup circuit.
“Racing here in Italy is always really tight. Every run is just a battle. There are places to pass the whole way down, and lots of guys are skiing really fast so it’s important to be really clean,” said Leman, who now boasts a first, second, and two third-place World Cup finishes on the course. “It was a tough heat in the finals and I skied some of my best to get third.”
Leman went head-to-head against teammate Chris Del Bosco in the semifinal, with Del Bosco finishing third to end up in the small final where he attempted a tight pass and crashed, finishing the day in eighth. The Canadian men started the day with five racers including Leman and Del Bosco; Kevin Drury was knocked out in his quarter-final heat, while Reece Howden and Kevin MacDonald failed to move on past the eighths.
On the women’s side, Marielle Thompson fell just shy of notching back-to-back podiums in this season’s opening races, finishing fourth to lead the Canadians. Thompson is no stranger to the Innichen course, having stood on its podium three times in her career.
But it was all new to Abby McEwen, whose sixth-place finish on Friday was a career-best, topping last week’s 20th-place finish in Arosa, Switzerland.
“I had no idea what was going to happen. It was very nerve-wracking, but really fun,” said the 22-year-old of her first World Cup small final. “I had a big smile on my face in the start gate – I just wanted to go fast. I had no idea how I was going to end up. It is a tricky course, very icy but in my small final I was out of the gate second and was able to hold on.”
Joining McEwen in the small final was India Sherret, who finished eighth. Kelsey Serwa and Mikayla Martin were unable to move past the quarter-final.
The men and women on Canada’s Ski Cross Team will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 22, when Innichen hosts a second World Cup in as many days. CBC will live stream the action, beginning at 5:15 a.m. ET/3:15 a.m. MT, and will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. ET/3 p.m. MT.
Celebrate today’s podium results by joining the Medallists’ Circle
For the 2018-19 ski racing season, Alpine Canada is inviting ski fans to join the Medallists’ Circle. Donors are invited to commit a pledge for each podium performance by an Alpine Canada athlete this season at World Cup and World Championship events. All funds raised through the Medallists’ Circle will provide Canada’s alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross athletes with the resources needed to reach for the podium. For further information, please visit AlpineCanada.org.
Follow Alpine Canada on social media to get the latest about our athletes and more: Facebook,Twitter,Instagram, Youtube,www.alpinecanada.org
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community. In 2020, Alpine Canada will celebrate 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.