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Holly Crawford has ridden to a bronze medal in a halfpipe World Cup event in Calgary, wrapping up her competition schedule on the way to Vancouver 2010.
Crawford finished ahead of reigning World Cup champion Liu Jiayu, but behind two of the Chinese rider’s compatriots.
Sun Zhifeng claimed the gold with a score of 43.4 points for her best of two runs, ahead of Cai Xuetong on 42.1 points.
Crawford earned 40.8 points for her best attempt in the Canadian pipe, while Liu was fourth on 40.1 points.
Several of the top competitors were missing from the field, taking part in the XGames in Aspen, including Crawford’s Vancouver team-mate Torah Bright and the top three US riders.
But defeating Liu is a significant win for the AIS scholarship holder, who turns 26 two days before the Games’ opening.
In addition to collecting the World Cup crown last season, the Chinese rider defeated Bright and two of those three Americans on her way to silver at the Cypress Mountain World Cup, the test event for the Olympics.
“It was a good performance from Holly,” said AIS/OWI head snowboard coach Ben Wordsworth.
“She nearly put down her Olympic run, which would have given her the gold, but she sat down on the Cab 7 so finished up in third.”
“But she’s riding super strong and the main thing is that she has come out of the season so far healthy and looking forward to the Games.”
“She’s definitely happy. She realizes she could have won, but she has finished the event in a good frame of mind.”
Ski & Snowboard Australia rider Ben Mates placed seventh in the men’s event, which was won by Arthur Longo of France.
Words: Barry White
Olympic Team Media Liaison