Three Canadians in top-eight in women’s PGS at Olympics

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February 19, 2014, KRASNAYA POLYANA (ISN) – Canadian snowboarders Marianne Leeson of Burlington, Ont., Caroline Calvé of Lachine, Que., and Ariane Lavigne of Lac-Supérieur, Que., ranked fifth, sixth and eighth respectively on Wednesday in the women’s parallel giant slalom at the Olympic Games.

Patrizia Kummer of Switzerland defeated Tomoka Takeuchi of Japan in the gold medal final. Alena Zavarzina of Russia took the bronze.

All three Canadian women were eliminated in their quarterfinal runs. Leeson ranked fifth in qualifying which determined the seedings for the playoff rounds. In the round of 16 she defeated Ladina Jenny in both runs. In the quarter, she won the first run by 0.65 seconds but Ina Meschik of Austria overcame the deficit in the second run to advance.

It was the best international result of Leeson’s career and the first time she had reached a quarterfinal. Her previous best was ninth place finish at a World Cup last season.

Calvé bounced Russian Ekaterina Ilyukhina in the round of 16 before bowing out to Takeuchi in the quarterfinal. The Japanese rider won the first run by 0.74 and Calvé lost control in the second and was never able to catch up.

”I wasn’t feeling well,” said Calvé who has been battling a virus since arriving in Sochi. ”Between runs I was sitting to conserve my energy. Still I had some good runs but my legs were really burning at the end.”

Lavigne was also trying to make up a deficit in her second run against Zavarzina and fell.

”When I won the first round I thought I was headed for a good day,” she said. ”But I made an error in the quarterfinal and lost my balance. It happened so fast. Still, I’m going to keep good memories of this event.”

In the men’s PGS, Vic Wild of Russia defeated Nevin Galmarini of Switzerland in the final. The bronze went to Zan Kosir of Slovenia.

Defending Olympic champion Jasey-Jay Anderson of Lac-Supérieur and Matthew Morison of Burketown, Ont., were eliminated in the round of 16 to rank 14th and 15th.

”I thought I had a shot,” said Anderson. ”I knew what sections gave me trouble on the first run. I had been riding every day to get use to the conditions.”

Michael Lambert of Toronto was 27th in qualifying.

Snowboard competition at the Games ends Saturday with the men’s and women’s parallel slalom.