Canadian 1-2-punch in ladies Olympic ski cross race
Marielle Thompson (CAN) has won the last event of the freestyle skiers at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sochi. The 21-year-old from North Vancouver thus followed up her team mate Ashleigh McIvor who had earned the title in 2010.
As Kelsey Serwa (CAN) raced to Silver in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, Team Canada secured the third 1-2 result at the Sochi Winter Gams after having locked in Gold in Silver in both, men's and ladies moguls before.
Anna Holmlund (SWE) rounded out the podium as third capitalizing on a crash of pre-race favourite Ophelie David (FRA) thus bringing home the first Olympic freestyle skiing medal for her home country in 20 years.
However, Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa stood out capping an outstanding performance from the Canada freestyle skiing team at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Thompson was the third fastest skier in the seeding round earlier in the day, ranking just 0.11 seconds behind top seed Serwa and 0.10 behind second seed David.
Proving she has another gear come head-to-head competitions, Thompson proceeded to win each of her heats handily in the march to the finals, including a statement semi-final in which she trounced David.
Until then David had looked to be the women to beat, putting down several calm and focused runs in a bid to win the last piece of hardware needed to complete her trophy case - an Olympic medal.
Serwa and Holmlund went through from their semifinal after a mistake by pre-race favourite and 2013 World Champion Fanny Smith (SUI) opened the door for the two women, who were sitting in third and fourth in the heat.
With the final featuring two former World Champions in David and Serwa, along with World Cup winners Holmlund and Thompson, a tight race seemed inevitable.
Out of the start gate and through the leading straightaway, the four skiers were neck and neck before Thompson'a superior rhythm through the roller section pushed her into a lead that would not be challenged. Serwa fell into Thompson's draught and the teammates cruised their way to a 1-2 finish.
David's mistake in the final was one of the more heartbreaking moments witnessed in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
The Frenchwomen is the most decorated ski cross athlete of all time, with 55 World Cup podiums, 26 wins, three World Championships podiums, one World Championship victory, and a streak of seven consecutive seasons atop the World Cup ski cross rankings, from 2004-10.
An Olympic medal would have been the perfect end to a career that is unlikely to be bettered soon, but the 37-year-old flew too deep into the landing of a jump in the "Kremlin" section of the course and skidded out when she could not absorb the landing, allowing Holmlund to pass.
When she reached the bottom of the course David remained gracious, hugging each of her competitors in turn before leaving the finish area of what may be her last Olympic Winter Games.