Canada's Mahler wins gold in ski cross for first World Cup podium finish

VAL THORENS, France — Canadian Kris Mahler returned from injury to claim the gold medal Saturday in ski cross for his first World Cup podium.

France's Bastien Midol was second while Jean Frederic Chapuis, also of France, finished third.

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Olympic gold medallist Brady Leman of Calgary and Kevin Drury of Toronto both qualified for the small final and finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

On the women's side, Courtney Hoffos of Windermere, BC, had another another strong performance, taking the bronze medal, following up on her silver medal yesterday.

The 24-year-old Mahler from Canmore, Alta., injured his shoulder in 2017, then injured his knee the following year.

"After two long years of rehab and too many sick days I can't even believe it," said Mahler. "That's one way to come back that's for sure. I stayed focused and we found some lines that were working."

Hoffos was starting only her fourth World Cup race in her first full season with the team.

"So much fun," she said. "One heat at a time. Ski fast. I'm excited to keep performing and inspiring kids back home."

Sherret of Invermere, B.C., finished fourth. Zoe Chore of Cranbrook, B.C., qualified for the small final and finished eighth while Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C., was ninth.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2019.

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