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Canada's Ashleigh McIvor wins women's ski cross gold

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-24

World champion Ashleigh McIvor won the inaugural Olympic women's ski cross title for Canada on Tuesday, after Ophelie David of France crashed out. Norway's Hedda Berntsen and France's Marion Josserand finished second and third, respectively.

AFP - World champion Ashleigh McIvor won the inaugural Olympic women's ski cross title for Canada Tuesday, dominating the final after highly fancied Ophelie David of France earlier crashed out.

McIvor led from the start of the four-woman final in driving snow, finishing ahead of Norway's Hedda Berntsen and France's Marion Josserand to secure the host nation's sixth gold of the Games.

"This is just the most amazing thing in my entire life. I am so proud of myself. There's nothing I could have done to be better equipped," said McIvor.

"Standing in the starting gate, I was thinking that everything that's happened in my life has led up to this moment. This is where I wanted to be. I was made for this. What more could I ask for?" she added.

The 26-year-old Canadian, second in the World Cup rankings, had earlier qualified for the heats in second position behind Sweden's Anna Holmlund, who did not qualify for the final.

Austria's Karin Huttary was fourth in the final.

Silver medallist Berntsen said: "It feels great. I had to work really hard. I had some problems recently with my neck that I had to overcome."

Josserand, who won the bronze, said: "It's fabulous to have come in with the favourites. My parents are not skiers. They just won't believe what's happened to me."

France's David, who has won six consecutive World Cups and leads the points race this season, lost control in the quarter-final and failed to finish.

She said she made too many mistakes and speaking about her fall, said: "I felt I was strong enough to land on my feet, but then the pressure just made me collapse."

Inclusion in the Games is a major milestone for ski cross, in which four racers are pitted against each other down a motocross-style course.

In ski cross, the only new event to be introduced at these Games, all competitors have one timed run, which determines the qualification ranking before the final round, in which 32 competitors take part in four-man races.

The two top-ranked skiers in each race advance to the next round.

Skiers race down a track constructed on a normal ski slope featuring different types and sizes of jumps, roller sections, banks, and turns.

Date created : 2010-02-24

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