O'Brien first, McMorris second on opening day of Worlds 

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO 2011
  • File Photo 2011

Canada earned a double podium in slopestyle on the opening day of the Mazda FIS World Snowboard Championships at Stoneham, Quebec on Friday, with Vancouver's Spencer O'Brien taking the top spot in the women's event and Mark McMorris placing second in the men's contest. It was shaping up to be a double gold after the first run, but Finnish rider Roope Tonteri edged him out by 1.25 points.

O'Brien was on fire, winning the qualifier with a 93.0, then bettering it with a 93.25 on her first run in the finals. Nobody was able to beat that run, with Sina Candrian of Switzerland finishing with an 81.5 and Australia's Torah Bright finishing with a 77.5.

None of the other Canadians - Sam Denena or Brooke Voigt - made the finals, placing 20th and 23rd in the qualifier.

On the men's side, Janne Korpi of Finland took third with a 90.75. Robby Balharry, who spent some time with the Whistler Valley Snowboard Club, was sixth in the contest while Matts Kulisek was 10th. Craig McMorris, Mark's younger brother, was well back in 50th.

The world championships run through the weekend. To keep up with the Canadian team, visit www.snowjamboree.com.

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