Canada's Reece Howden wins World Cup ski cross gold in Russia

·2 min read
Canada's Reece Howden, shown in this January 2021 file photo, won the World Cup men's ski cross gold medal on Saturday in Sunny Valley, Russia. (File/The Associated Press - image credit)
Canada's Reece Howden, shown in this January 2021 file photo, won the World Cup men's ski cross gold medal on Saturday in Sunny Valley, Russia. (File/The Associated Press - image credit)

Canada's Reece Howden had already clinched the men's ski cross overall World Cup title, but he put another exclamation point on his season with a gold-medal win in Sunny Valley, Russia, on Saturday.

The Cultus Lake, B.C. native finished first in the big final, ahead of Ryo Sugai of Japan, who took silver, and bronze-medal winner Joos Berry, of Switzerland.

"After those first few heats I was a bit nervous, but as I made my way through it, the confidence came back and when I was sitting in the start gate of the big final, I was feeling so good I just sent it — and I'm so happy with the result," Howden said.

Kris Mahler of Canmore, Alta., finished 12th, Chris del Bosco, of Montreal, was 26th, Ottawa's Jared Schmidt was 33rd and Edmonton's Carson Cook was 36th.

WATCH | Howden takes gold in Sunny Valley:

On the women's side, Fanny Smith of Switzerland took the title in Sunny Valley, followed by Sweden's Sandra Naeslund and Katrin Ofner of Austria.

WATCH | Switzerland's Fanny Smith prevails in women's event:

Courtney Hoffos, from Windermere, B.C., finished just off the podium in fourth, while teammate Tiana Gairns, of Prince George, B.C., won the small final to finish fifth.

"It was a good day overall," Hoffos said. "I had a lot of confidence felt really dialed in my first few heats. I felt like I was skiing well. It was too bad bad that I caught an edge and went down."

Other Canadian results in included Ottawa's Hannah Schmidt in 13th, Whistler, B.C.'s Marielle Thompson in 14th, and Zoe Chore, of Cranbrook, B.C., in 17th.

Next up for the Canadians is the World Cup Finals in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.