February 14, 2013
Ariane Lavigne wins snowboard bronze
By QMI Agency

Ariane Lavigne (left) of Canada greets Austria's Marion Kreiner after the Snowboard World Cup test event on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, near Sochi, Russia. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP)

Ariane Lavigne had her best World Cup finish of the snowboarding season, winning a bronze medal Thursday in Sochi, Russia.

The Montreal native earned the medal in parallel giant slalom, an Olympic test event.

Caroline Calve of Lachine, Que., and Lavigne qualified in 13th and 14th place respectively and advanced to the final run featuring the top 16 riders.

Calve finished the race 14th overall, while Marianne Leeson of Burlington, Ont., finished 30th, followed by Calgary's Ekaterina Zavialova in 35th.

In the men's race, Olympic champion Jasey-Jay Anderson of Lac Superieur, Que., was the only Canadian to make it through to the final, finishing 14th. Meanwhile, Toronto's Michael Lambert placed 19th, followed by Matthew Morison of Blackstock, Ont., in 22nd.

TWO MEDALS FOR CANUCK SWIMMERS


Olympic swim team members won silver and bronze medals respectively Thursday to open the second stop on the U.S. Grand Prix circuit.

Samantha Cheverton of Pointe Claire, Que., won silver in the women's 200-metre freestyle while Audrey Lacroix of Pont Rouge, Que., earned a bronze in the women's 100m butterfly. Cheverton tied for fifth and Montreal's Sandrine Mainville was eighth.

"I've only raced once since the Olympics so I was a little rusty," said Cheverton. "But I was happy with my time. It was a good solid swim and I'm where I need to be at this point in the season."

Martha McCabe of Toronto was fifth in the women's 100m breaststroke.

On the men's side, Zack Chetrat of Oakville, Ont., was fifth in the 100m butterfly, Victoria's Eric Hedlin was seventh in the 400-metre individual medley while Victoria's Ryan Cochrane and Toronto's Warren Barnes were eighth in in the 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke, respectively.

LE GEULLEC EARNS TOP 10 IN BIATHLON

Jean-Philippe Le Guellec celebrated a career-best 10th place finish at the Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on Thursday.

The 27-year-old from Shannon, Que., missed just one target in his final round of shooting to clock a time of 51 minutes, 31.4 seconds in the men's 20-kilometre individual start competition.

"I didn't feel great skiing, but I had to be a bit more controlled than usual given a very hard course profile, and slow conditions to ski in," Le Guellec said in a release. "My tactic quickly shifted to shooting clean and fast. Top 10 is great all things considered, and it stamps my ticket for Sunday's mass start race which I am very stoked about."

A two-time Olympian, Le Guellec posted four top-15 finishes at the 2010 Vancouver Games, including a sixth-place result in the sprint. Earlier this year, he accomplished the unthinkable when he became the fist Canadian male ever to ski onto a World Cup biathlon podium by winning a sprint competition in Oestersund, Sweden.

WILKINSON RETIRES FROM SWIMMING

Julia Wilkinson is retiring from competitive swimming after a six-year national team career that saw her represent Canada at two Olympic Games.

The native of Stratford, Ont., made the announcement late Thursday on her website, www.juliawilkinson.com.

"After several months of consideration, and changing my mind hundreds of times, I have finally come to the decision to retire from the sport of swimming, something that has been a part of me since I joined the Stratford Kinsmen Y Aquatic Club at the age of eight," she wrote.

Wilkinson, 25, swam for Canada at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. Her career highlights include winning three medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

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