Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Big power in freestyle halfpipe

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CALGARY -- Canada's medal prospects in the new Olympic sport of freestyle halfpipe are bright if the World Cup in Calgary is an indication.

Canadian men swept the podium and placed four in the top five Friday at Canada Olympic Park event and that was with reigning World Cup champion Mike Riddle of Sherwood Park, Alta., sidelined with a bruised heel.

Justin Dorey of Vernon, B.C., Calgary's Noah Bowman and Matt Margetts of Penticton, B.C., finished first to third respectively in the halfpipe, which makes its Olympic debut next month in Sochi, Russia. Simon d'Artois of Whistler, B.C., was fifth.

"We have a lot of talent on the halfpipe team right now," Dorey said. "I think we're all capable of putting down podium runs."

Dorey, 25, posted a combined two-run score of 87.20 points for his first World Cup victory. Bowman, 21, was second with a 84.40 score, while Margetts, 25, was third with a score of 82.60.

Calgary's Megan Gunning finished just outside the women's medals. Rowan Cheshire of Britain won the women's event with a score of 80.40 points. Virginie Faivre of Switzerland second with 79.80 points and Amy Sheehan of Australia third with 79.20. Edmonton's Keltie Hansen was eighth.

As in snowboard halfpipe, the freestylers use momentum generated by the pipe's slopes to gain air and perform tricks.

Former world champion Rosalind Groenewoud of Squamish, B.C., underwent surgery on both her knees last month but intends to compete in Sochi.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 4, 2014 C4

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