SWEDEN – Canadian skiers were held off the podium at the 2021 Ski Cross World Championships in Idre Fjall, Sweden for the first time since 2017.
On Saturday (Feb. 13), four Canadian men and five women hit the slopes at the big course in Sweden under cold and blustery conditions.
Reece Howden, this season’s World Cup leader, was the top Canadian claiming a fifth-place finish in his first appearance at the world championships.
Also making his world championships debut was Canmore’s, Kris Mahler.
In the 1/8 finals, Mahler finished second to Swede David Mobaerg. He was first out of the gates and held on to the lead through the first intermediate but was unable to hold on.
Mahler faced a nervous moment in the early heat when teammate Chris Del Bosco clipped the back of his skis in mid-air causing Mahler to lose balance and speed but he was able to keep composure and ski-out the heat.
In the quarter-final, Mahler once again jumped out to the early lead. Halfway down the course, he lost a bit of speed and Sweden’s Erik Mobaerg and Austria’s Johannes Rohrweck squeezed past Mahler over a jump and advanced to the semis.
On the women’s side, Courtney Hofos was the top Canadian finishing in fifth, while 2019’s world champion Marielle Thompson surprisingly bowed out in the quarter-finals.
The racers will have little time to mull over their results as the world cup circuit restarts in Reiteralm, Austria on Friday (Feb. 19).