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Skiing - 17. December 2011.

Serwa fastest in ski cross WorldCup qualification

Ski cross world champion  Kelsey Serwa made the best possible start to the 2011-12 World Cup season on Friday as she won the women’s qualification round in Innichen, Italy.

With Marielle Thompson and Georgia Simmerling – making their World Cup debut in the sport – all finishing in the top 10, Canada is well positioned to make a push for the podium in Saturday’s World Cup opener.

“It’s always good to have a high seed going into the elimination round. I like our chances for tomorrow,” said Eric Archer, Canada’s head coach. “The results are definitely a sign that we are doing things the right way.”

Serwa’s first-place finish Friday is significant because despite having a breakout 2010-11 campaign, qualification was not one of the Kelowna, B.C., native’s strengths last year.

“The real racing starts tomorrow but it definitely gives me a lot of confidence,” said Serwa, who finished in 1:05.87. “It’s nice to know I’m the fastest person on that course.”

Switzerland’s Fanny Smith was second fastest, in 1:06.19, followed by French veteran Ophelie David, in 1:06.20. Whistler’s Marielle Thompson, the Canadian champion, was fourth in 1:06.54, while West Vancouver’s Georgia Simmerling, who is making her ski cross World Cup debut, was sixth in 1:07.08. Fellow newcomer Mariannick Therer, of Saint-Sauveur, Que., was 31st and did not qualify for Saturday’s round of 16.

Dec. 16 – San Candido – FIS World Cup – Ski cross qualification, men
COMPLETE RESULTS<http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2012/FS/8051/2012FS8051QRL.pdf>
FINAL DRAW LIST<http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2012/FS/8051/2012FS8051FDL.pdf>

Dec. 16 – San Candido – FIS World Cup – Ski cross qualification, women
COMPLETE RESULTS<http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2012/FS/8050/2012FS8050QRL.pdf>
FINAL DRAW LIST<http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2012/FS/8050/2012FS8050FDL.pdf>

Following Saturday’s World Cup ski cross finals, a second qualification round and World Cup race will be held on Sunday.
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