Podium finish for McIvor

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:25 PM ET

Olympic champion Ashleigh McIvor of Whistler, B.C., got back on the podium Sunday, finishing second at a World Cup ski cross event in San Candido, Italy.

The result came a day after McIvor placed seventh in the season-opening World Cup race.

McIvor was in third place halfway through the final, trailing Fanny Smith of Switzerland and Anna Holmlund of Sweden, before making a push in the lower section of the course.

"I know Fanny is a really good skier, she's super dialed in with her technical ability," McIvor said. "So I just stayed right on her the whole way down and waited for an opportunity to get by Anna. I pulled out to pass (Smith) off the last jump and didn't quite catch her."

Smith took the gold medal while Heidi Zacher of Germany took the bronze after passing Holmlund.

Chris Del Bosco of Sudbury, Ont., was the top Canadian in the men's race. The X-Games gold medallist finished fifth.

Scott Kneller of Australia won the race while Switzerland's Alex Fiva and John Teller of the U.S. rounded out the podium.

Oh, what a Rush

Lyndon Rush of Humboldt, Sask., piloted the four-man Canada 1 sled to its second bronze medal of the World Cup bobsled season Sunday in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Rush and his crew of Justin Wilkinson (Calgary), Cody Sorenson (Ottawa) and Neville Wright (Edmonton) finished third with a two-run time of one minute, 48.63 seconds.

"The crew did really good today," said Rush, who also has a World Cup silver medal in two-man with Wright this season. "Our push wasn't the best, but they were solid. This is one of the toughest tracks in the world, and while I try to be motivated for every race, you have to be ready here."

The USA 1 sled piloted by Steven Holcomb won the gold medal in 1:48.01 and Germany 3 with Maximilian Arndt at the controls was second in 1:48.59.

Gagnon going good

Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., sits 19th in the World Cup overall standings after placing 12th in the women's super-combined Sunday at Val d'Isere, France.

Gagnon has recorded points in four World Cup disciplines to break into the top 20 this season.

"I would say at this point that yes, my expectations have changed a little bit, but I still want to be realistic," Gagnon said.

In just her second World Cup super-combined event ever, Gagnon finished with a combined time of two minutes, 9.95 seconds, more than two seconds behind winner Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. But Gagnon had the second-fastest slalom time of the day.

Marie-Pier Prefontaine of Saint-Sauveur, Que., the only other Canadian in the race, did not finish her first run.

Vonn finished ahead of Austria's Elisabeth Goergl and Nicole Hosp.

Lucky 13th

Canada finished 13th in the mixed-relay biathlon Sunday in Pokljuaka, Slovenia, to wrap up the pre-Christmas leg of the World Cup biathlon season.

Megan Imrie of Falcon Lake, Man., Zina Kocher of Red Deer, Alta., Scott Perras of Regina and Brendan Green of Hay River, NWT, combined to finish in one hour, 21 minutes and 45.6 seconds.

Canada was four minutes off the winning pace. Sweden, Ukraine and France took the top three spots in the race.

Canada teams up for 9th

The Canadian men's cross-country ski team finished ninth in the team relay Sunday at the World Cup event in La Clusaz, France.

Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., Ivan Babikov, of Canmore, Alta., Alex Harvey, of St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., and Len Valjas of Toronto broken into the, top 10 after postin g a combined time of one hour, 45 minutes and 14.2 seconds in the men's 4x10 kilometre relay.

"Overall the team a pretty good job today," Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth said. "Lenny hasn't had much World Cup experience but did a great job leading the way and the rest of the guys were solid it was a good day."

Switzerland won the gold medal, followed by Russia and Norway.

Just missed

Warren Shouldice of Calgary just missed out on a podium finish Sunday at the Aerials World Cup event in Beida Lake, China.

Shouldice, the only Canadian in the event, was second after the first jump but slipped to fourth with a slight mistake on the second jump. He scored 219.03 points in the two jumps.

"With only three guys left to go the snow started and the wind direction changed. I could tell I was about one, to one-and-a-half kilometers per hour slow coming in to my take off, so I had to break form in the air because I didn't have enough height," Shouldice said. "But that wasn't my big mistake, my mistake was that I missed my landing a bit by taking a deep squat. I'm glad I didn't crash, but that squat cost me a spot on the podium today."

China's Guangpu Qi and Zongyang Jia finished first and second, respectively, with scores of 245.74 and 245.17. Renato Ulrich of Switzerland was third at 232.72.


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