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Canada’s Turski, Tsubota top podium in women’s freeski slopestyle final

Kaya Turski of Canada catches air during the Women's Slope Style Final at the FIS Freestyle World Championships in Park City, Utah, February 3, 2011.

JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

Canada's Kaya Turski and Yuki Tsubota topped the podium on Sunday in the women's final of the freeski slopestyle event at the Dew Cup.

Turski won with a score of 87.25, while Tsubota, who had been fourth alternate for the event, was second at 72.25.

Anna Segal of Australia was third at 56.75 on the three-rail, four-jump course.

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The Dew Cup is the first of five competitions that the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association has targeted as Olympic qualifiers for slopestyle skiers. Competitors will need two podiums and a third high-ranking finish at three of those five events to earn a chance for an early nomination to the 2014 Olympic team for Sochi, Russia.

High winds and cold temperatures created challenges on the three-rail, four-jump course for the entire field Sunday.

"It was really, really windy and gusty. It was really sketchy out there," said Turski, a Montreal native who won every event she entered last year and is a three-time X Games and Euro X champion. "I'm just glad I made it down the course. I just tried to keep it together and I know everyone kind of struggled with the speed."

"I did what I planned to do on my run, it wasn't my best run, but I think considering the weather I did really well and I'm pleased with my skiing."

Tsubota, of Pemberton, B.C., was pleased with her second-place finish.

"I guess this means there's a chance for me to make the Olympics," she said. "It feels so much closer now. Before this (competition) I was kind of stressing but it's really realistic for me now."

Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont., was fifth at 40.50.

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In the men's field, Australia's Russ Henshaw was first at 84.50, Norway's Andreas Hatveit earned silver at 80.00 and Sweden's Henrik Harlaut rounded out the medals at 78.75.

Canadian men JF Houle of Drummondville, Que., and Alex Bellemare of Shawinigan, Que., struggled in the blustery conditions and finished in eighth and 11th position, respectively.

Meanwhile in men's snowboard slopestyle, Regina's Mark Morris won with a score of 95.00, while Sebastian Toutant of L'Assomption, Que., was fourth with 84.25.

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