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Manuel Osborne-Paradis wins Canadian downhill title in Whistler

Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada races down the hill during the first men's downhill training run of the Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup in Lake Louise, Alta., Wednesday, November 21, 2012.

Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Manuel Osborne-Paradis won the national downhill title Saturday at the Sport Chek Alpine Canadian Championships.

The 29-year-old from Vancouver — who grew up skiing in Whistler, B.C. — took the gold in one minute 1.97 seconds on the course at the Dave Murray National Training Centre.

Jeffrey Frisch of Mont-Tremblant, Que., took second place in 1:02.64, while Calgary's John Kucera was third in 1:02.79.

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"I kind of knew what I needed to do today to be fast," said Osborne-Paradis. "I figured out the course right off the bat.

"It was just sticking to the plan and not taking too many risks, knowing the course was faster today."

Osborne-Paradis returned from injury this season and battled his way back into the top-30 with several standout performances, including a fourth-place finish in the downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway, and a seventh-place finish, also in downhill, in Val-Gardena, Italy.

He finished the season ranked 13th in the world in downhill.

Frisch, who finished second overall in the Nor-Am Cup downhill standings to earn himself a World Cup spot for next season, was disappointed with the bottom section of his run Saturday.

"The top part was good. I was really happy with it," said Frisch. "Then from the mid-section down I didn't really execute my race plan. That's why there's a distance between Manny and I.

Kucera endured a challenging year on the World Cup circuit after coming back from a long-term injury he originally suffered at Lake Louise, Alta., in 2009.

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"It was an okay day. There are definitely some positives to take but at the same time I need to find a way to close the gap," said Kucera.

Chris Steinke of Gatineau, Que., was the top junior in eighth place.

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