Canada’s Marielle Thompson has won the silver medal in women’s ski cross at the Beijing Olympics after finishing second in a drama-filled final.
Thompson, from Whistler, B.C., made a late push in the big final to finish behind Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund, who led the race from wire to wire.
Switzerland’s Fanny Smith appeared to win the bronze medal, but she was disqualified after a lengthy post-race review.
Germany’s Daniela Maier was awarded the bronze following Smith’s disqualification.
It’s the second Olympic medal for Thompson, who won ski cross gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Canada had four skiers in the semifinals, but only Thompson advanced to the big final.
Pyeongchang silver medallist Brittany Phelan of Mont-Tremblant, Que., won the small final to finish fifth. Courtney Hoffos of Windermere, B.C., was sixth and Ottawa’s Hannah Schmidt was seventh.
Schmidt and Thompson had the fourth and fifth best times respectively in the seeding round.
Phelan and Hoffos were not far behind them, finishing the seeding seventh and eighth.
Both Phelan and Thompson are returning to the Olympics after devastating injuries earlier this season.
Phelan blew out her knee in February 2020 in Megève, France, when she overshot a jump and landed on one leg.
Thompson tore her anterior cruciate ligament in March, disrupting her 2021-22 training plan.
At the National Aquatics Centre, Brad Gushue fell to Sweden’s Niklas Edin, 5-3, in the men’s curling semifinals and will have to settle for playing for a bronze medal.
The Canadian team will meet the United States in the bronze-medal game. Sweden and Great Britain will battle it out Saturday for gold.
Earlier, Canada’s Jennifer Jones crashed out of the tournament despite winning her final match of the preliminary round.
Jones beat Denmark’s Madeleine Dupont 10-4 in the round-robin finale, which temporarily kept her playoff hopes alive.
But losses by Russia, Japan and South Korea sent Canada packing.
Jones finished fifth in the 10-team standings with a 5-4 record. Britain and Japan, also at 5-4, advanced based on their better draw shot challenge (DSC) numbers.
“I’ve always enjoyed the tiebreaker games,” said Canada vice Kaitlyn Lawes. “I don’t think games should be decided based on one shot.
“Unfortunately we struggled with that this week. It’s just the way it is.”
In figure skating, Canada’s Madeline Schizas finished the women’s individual competition in 19th place.
Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova, the overlooked world champion, delivered a clean performance in her free skate at historic Capital Indoor Stadium to win a stunning gold medal, while teammate Kamila Valieva — at the centre of the latest Russian doping controversy — tumbled out of the medals altogether with a mistake-filled end to her Olympic dream.
Another Russian skater, Alexandra Trusova, claimed silver and Kaori Sakamoto of Japan grabbed bronze.
It was a solid day for Canada at the Genting Snow Park, with all six Canadians — women and men — advancing to their respective finals in freeski halfpipe.
On the women’s side, Rachael Karker of Erin, Ont., was second in qualifying behind China’s Eileen Gu. Cassie Sharpe from Comox, B.C., placed sixth and Calgary’s Amy Fraser finished 11th.
“I think I did well, I’m super happy to make the finals and to put a good run down,” said Karker.
For the men, Calgary’s Brendan Mackay was the top Canadian in fifth, ahead of Noah Bowman, also of Calgary, in sixth. Simon d’Artois from Whistler, B.C., placed eighth.
“I feel really good, the pipe is fantastic and everyone is skiing super well and I’m very happy to put down my runs,” said Mackay.
The top-12 athletes in both the women’s and men’s qualification runs advanced to the finals.
At the National speedskating Oval, Alexa Scott of Clandeboye, Man., came in 12th in the women’s 1,000 metres while Maddison Pearman of Ponoka, Alta., finished 26th.
Miho Takagi of Japan took home the gold — her fourth speedskating medal of the Beijing Games.
In women’s alpine combined, Roni Remme of Collingwood, Ont., failed to complete the downhill portion of the event and did not move on to the final.
—The Canadian Press