SX: Groenvold, David claim crystal globes


The third freestyle FIS World Cup competition in skiercross took place Friday in Listel/Inawashiro, Japan, the venue of the 2009 Freestyle FIS World Championships. After extremely strong winds that canceled the training session the day before, the athletes were rewarded with a sunny day and a very well-prepared and exciting skiercross course for the last competition this season held at the Snow Paradise resort.
THE THIRD FREESTYLE FIS World Cup competition in skiercross took place Friday in Listel/Inawashiro, Japan, the venue of the 2009 Freestyle FIS World Championships. After extremely strong winds that canceled the training session the day before, the athletes were rewarded with a sunny day and a very well-prepared and exciting skiercross course for the last competition this season held at the Snow Paradise resort.
    In front of the home audience, Japan's Hiroomi Takizawa continued his strong season performances, taking the first victory after the second-place finish in the season opener in Flaine, France. For Takizawa it was the third career victory and the first since February 2004 in Naeba, Japan. Behind him, the reigning 2005 FIS world champion and last season's World Cup winner, 32-year-old Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic, took second while 22-year-old Swiss Michael Schmid was third. For Schmid it was the second World Cup podium of his career.
    Audun Groenvold of Norway, the winner of the season's first two World Cups, ranked only 12th but narrowly held onto his World Cup leader's jersey and claimed the small crystal globe signifying the victory in the skiercross World Cup standings. Groenvold took the title just two points ahead of Kraus and 42 points ahead of Takizawa.
    In the women's competition, last year's FIS World Cup skiercross champion Ophelie David, a native of L'Alpe d'Huez, France, took her first season victory following two second-place finishes in the earlier races. For Magdalena Iljans of Sweden, the 38-year-old winner of the season opener in Flaine, who ranked second, it was her second podium this season. 20-year-old Meryl Boulangeat of France, who won silver in skiercross in the FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships last year and took her career-first victory two weeks ago in Les Contamines, was third.
    The same three athletes controlled the ski cross FIS World Cup rankings for the women: While David took the crystal globe with 260 points, Iljans finished second with 225 and Boulangeat third with 168 points.
    Overall, this was an abbreviated season which saw several skiercross World Cup events canceled and then some rescheduled. This was due to a lack of snowfall and warm weather which plagued everyone this season. However, the season's highlight still stands ahead as the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships will be held in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, starting March 5.

— FIS

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