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Triple cork good for gold

Regina snowboarder had 'nothing to lose'

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Mark McMorris of Regina flies off a jump during the slopestyle snowboarding final at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships on Sunday in Colorado.

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Mark McMorris of Regina flies off a jump during the slopestyle snowboarding final at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships on Sunday in Colorado.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. -- Regina's Mark McMorris opened the snowboarding season with a gold-medal performance in slopestyle at the Dew Tour on Sunday.

McMorris took first place in the 17-man field with a 97.80 points, 6.80 points ahead of Sven Thorgren of Sweden. Maxence Parrot of Bromont, Que., finished third with 89.00.

Montreal's Sebastien Toutant placed fourth with 87.60 points.

After a fall in qualifying, McMorris collected 95.00 points in his first run of the final, which featured his signature straight double backflip and a backside 1080 double cork. He capped his second run with a 1440 triple cork.

"I was going at the last jump not sure what I wanted to do exactly, a double (cork) or a triple (cork), but if I'm not at the head of the pack going into my second run, I'm definitely going to have to go for it," said the 20-year-old McMorris.

"I had nothing to lose. I told myself everything was going perfect and I had to do a triple."

For Parrot, 19, Sunday's performance marked his first career medal in three years on the circuit.

"It's great to finally get on the podium," Parrot said. "I think I'm feeling more and more comfortable with my manoeuvres and executing them at high speed."

Slopestyle snowboarding will make its Olympic debut in Sochi in 2014, with McMorris already named to Canada's squad.

Toutant said Sunday's event was a good measuring stick heading into the season before the Winter Games.

"It was our first competition this season and it was a great opportunity to see where everyone is at," he said. "I'm looking forward to now preparing for the World Cups and hopefully the Olympics in the new year."

American snowboarding star Shaun White was forced to drop out of Sunday's event after injuring his ankle on a fall in the halfpipe finals on Saturday.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 16, 2013 C6

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