Nicoll takes bronze on home turf 

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In the men’s competition, only four Canadians qualified for the round of 32. Vancouver’s Drew Neilson, one of the favourites, was tied up with another competitor in his first heat and finished the day in 18 th .

Francois Boivin of Jonquiere, Quebec did a little better and finished 12 th .

"I tried to press the guy the whole way, but he just stayed in front of me and squeezed me out at the finish," said Boivin, 21. "It’s a little frustrating because my goal heading into the week was to at least make it to the semi-finals."

Carl Cowtan of Kelowna finished 16 th and Whistler’s Mike Robertson was 22 nd .

Mont Tremblant’s Jasey Jay Anderson, a three-time overall World Cup snowboard champion, crashed in the qualifier. Tom Veliseck, Brad Tetreau, Robert Fagan, Adam McLeish, and Whistler’s Perry Bizyk, Ben Wainwright, and Kevin Allen also finished out of the round of 32.

Florent Mather gave France its second gold medal of the day. He was followed closely by Simone Malusa of Italy, and Dieter Krassnig of Austria was a close third.

Anderson fourth in PGS

After falling in the snowboard cross qualifier, Jasey Jay Anderson focused his attention on the parallel giant slalom contest. Ranked third overall in the PGS, Anderson hoped to improve his position with a podium finish.

Anderson was solid all day, beating competitors in two runs to advance to the semi-final round, where a mistake in the middle of the course cost him in his first run against Simon Schoch of Switzerland. In the hole by 0.88 seconds, Anderson made another mistake on his second run while trying to close the gap and was relegated to the small final.

Thrown off his game, Anderson pulled out all stops against Stefan Kaltschuetz of Austria in the race to decide third place, and the two racers were neck and neck until a small mistake on the last pitch. Down by 0.23 seconds, Anderson once again made a few errors in trying to close the gap in the second run and finished the day in fourth.

"I’m feeling pretty good out there," said Anderson, who was upbeat about his performance. "I’m right in every race, it’s just a few small things that are costing me, but I’m pretty happy. I’m having fun."

Anderson said he almost quit racing because he couldn’t find a snowboard on the market to match his riding style. He hooked up with Toronto-based Coiler Snowboards before last season and says the difference was immediate.

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