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Calgary’s Dorey one step closer to Sochi after fourth place halfpipe skiing finish

Canadian halfpipe team member Justin Dorey takes to the air as he trains on the Blackcomb glacier in Whistler, B.C. Friday, July, 6, 2012. Ski halfpipe makes its Olympic debut in Sochi in Feb 2014.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada's Justin Dorey placed fourth at the Grand Prix halfpipe skiing competition in Colorado on Friday night, finishing less than four points off the podium in the pre-Olympic event.

And though the 25-year-old says fourth place is generally the toughest result to swallow, Dorey was more than happy with his 86.2 points.

"Fourth place is almost more frustrating than crashing both runs because you're so close to the podium, but I've never been so happy with fourth," said Dorey, who was born in Calgary but now resides in Whistler, B.C.

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"I can use that for one of my qualifier results for the Olympics and that's definitely my priority heading into the Games."

American Aaron Blunck took gold with 92.0 points, followed by Kevin Rolland of France, and Gus Kenworthy of the U.S. with 90.2 and 90 points, respectively. Simon Dumont, the two-time X Games halfpipe champion who pulled out last week with a concussion, finished fifth.

After a safe first run, Dorey landed two double-cork 1260's in his second run to finish fourth in the 12-man event.

"I'm still playing it pretty safe," said Dorey, who missed part of last season after having surgery to repair damaged ligaments in his left shoulder. "I have one or two other double-flips that I want to put into my run.

"Those are the most technical tricks you can do in the halfpipe these days. Typically a winning run will have two doubles, but there have been runs with three and that's definitely where the sport is going right now."

Sherwood Park, Alta., native Mike Riddle placed seventh with 80.40 points, while Victoria's Matt Margetts finished 10th.

In the women's event, American Brita Sigourney took first place after finishing third last week. Maddie Bowman, also of the U.S., finished second.

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Megan Gunning was the only Canadian in the women's field. The 21-year-old Calgary resident placed 12th.

In slopestyle, 15-year-old Maggie Voisin posted the best score in qualifying. She'll go last in Saturday's final, hoping to add to a third-place finish on her birthday last week.

Germany's Lisa Zimmerman finished second and American Greta Eliassen was third in qualifying on a snowy, windblown day that was tough on some top contenders.

American Devin Logan and Canadian Kim Lamarre, who finished 1-2 last week, each failed to make finals.

Logan, who is also trying to qualify in halfpipe, finished fourth in that final.

— With files from The Associated Press

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