Career-best fifth for Gagnon

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:33 PM ET

Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon had her career best World Cup finish Sunday in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Gagnon, from Lac-Etchemin, Que., was fifth in the women's giant slalom after posting a combined, two-run time of two minutes, 11.49 seconds. She was 14th after the first run but made up a huge amount of time on the second, which was the third-fastest of the day.

"I was really surprised," Gagnon said. "I was asking myself this morning if I was going to be in the top 30 because in the GS in Aspen I just missed qualifying. I am still disappointed about that, but I'm skiing well and I have been in GS since Sölden so I feel good about it."

Tessa Worley of France won the race in 2:10.70, one-hundredth of a second ahead of Finland's Tanja Poutiainen. Tina Maze of Slovenia was third.

Marie-Pier Prefontaine of Saint-Sauveur, Que., was a personal-best 24th while Britt Janyk of Whistler, B.C., failed to qualify for the second run after placing 37th in the opening run.

Another personal best

Julien Cousineau of Lachute, Que., tied a career-best in slalom with a fifth-place finish Sunday at the men's World Cup in Val D'Isere, France.

Cousineau, who had a two-run time of one minute, 45.83 seconds, also finished fifth in Schladming, Austria, last year. It was his second top-10 result in as many races and seventh of his career.

"Since the end of last season I've been battling for the podium," Cousineau said. "It's good. It's where I've wanted to be. Now it's time to take it to the next level and be on the podium, not just a contender."

Marcel Hirscher of Austria won his first World Cup slalom in 1:44.70. Austria's Benjamin Raich was second and France's Steve Missillier jumped from 25th after the first run to take the bronze.

Trevor White of Calgary finished 12th. No other Canadian finished the race.

Double bronze in Shanghai

Canadians raced to a pair of bronze medals at the World Cup short track speed skating stop Sunday in Shanghai, China.

Jessica Gregg of Edmonton was third in the 500-metres and Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., took the bronze in the men's 1,500m. The men's relay team added a silver medal.

After missing the first two World Cup events with a concussion, Gregg stepped onto the podium for the first time this season. She crossed the line in 45.218 seconds, just behind gold medalist Zhao Nannan and runner-up Liu Qiuhong, both of China.

"Since I missed the first part of the season, I'm still getting back into shape," Gregg said. "But no matter how you are, if you race smart, you can do it, and I feel that's exactly what I did today, I had a good race pattern."

Jean was third behind winner Noh Jinkyu of Korea and Takamido Yuzo of Japan.

Gregg top Canadian

Jamie Gregg of Edmonton posted the best Canadian result at the World Cup long track speed skating event Sunday in Obihiro, Japan.

Gregg finished fifth in the men's 500-metres, missing the podium by 12-hundredths of a second to wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of the World Cup schedule.

"I wish there was another World Cup, because I feel I am just getting better and better as the competitions go on," Gregg said. "Even though my races were not perfect, the speed is coming easier."

Joji Kato of Japan won the race while teammate Keiichiro Nagashima was second. Korean Kyou-Hyuk Lee took the bronze medal.

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg finished 12th in the women's 500m and eighth in the 1,000m.

In the men's 1,000m, Gregg's ninth-place showing was the best result by a Canuck. Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was 14th and Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was 18th.

Patrick Chan can finally celebrate a win on the international stage.

The 19-year-old world silver medalist won the gold medal in the men's competition at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating event Saturday in Beijing.

"It feels great to get the victory," said Chan. "I always wanted to do well at this event."

The Toronto native delivered his best performance of the season with a final score of 259.75.

Nobunari Oda of Japan, the leader after the short program, fell in his opening quad toeloop and took silver while Takahiko Kozuka finished third.

Chan, who landed his first career quadruple jump earlier this season at Skate Canada, opened his program with a successful quad which set the tone for a solid program. Other highlights included landing a triple Axel and two triple Lutzs. The only glitch was a step out of his second Axel.

"It was really important to get that quad at this point in the season," he said. "I need to know that I can do it on a consistent basis and keep it together."

In ice dancing, Vanessa Crone of North York, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., won the bronze medal. Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White took the gold. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, both of Waterloo, Ont., were fifth.

In pairs, Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Waterloo, Ont., finished sixth.

Triple (medal) threat

Mikael Kingsburg of Canada won his first career medal at the World Cup moguls season opener Saturday in Ruka, Finland.

The native of Deux-Montagnes, Que., took the silver medal in the men's event, posting a score of 24.89 points that was aided by the best air marks in the final. Patrick Deneen of the U.S. won the gold medal while Guilbaut Colas of France was third.

Cedric Rochon of Saint-Sauveur, Que., was the next-best Canadian, finishing fifth, while 2010 Olympic champ Alex Bilodeau was seventh.

In the women's event, Jenn Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta., and Kristi Richards of Summerland, B.C.. finished two-three behind 2010 Olympic champion Hannah Kearney of the U.S. Heil finished with 24.02 points and Richards posted a score of 23.52 points.

"It's always great to be at the first World Cup of the season and to get back into the rhythm," Heil said. "I had a breakthrough on my skis at a training camp earlier in the season and I could feel it today, although I wasn't skiing at my full limit. Now it's time to charge it up for next week's contest in France."

Montreal's Justine Dufour-Lapointe, a 16-year-old making her first World Cup appearance, finished fifth.


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