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Canadians grab gold and silver in snowboarding cross event at Worlds

STONEHAM, Que. - Canadians Maelle Ricker and Dominique Maltais won gold and silver in the snowboard cross event at the FIS snowboarding world championships on Saturday.

Both women were dominant in the first two elimination rounds, but Ricker had the last word over her rival in the final.

The first-place finish means Ricker, a native of Squamish, B.C., has secured a spot representing Canada at the Sochi Olympics next year.

"It's great," said Ricker, 34, who won gold at the Vancouver Olympics. "Everyone on the team has done a tremendous job."

Maltais, a 32-year-old from Petite-Riviere-Saint-Francois, Que., finished a few metres behind Ricker in the final race. Maltais, who was disappointed not to finish first in front of a hometown crowd, said she lost ground early on and wasn't able to catch up.

"A small error at the top of course made me lose speed," she said. "Later I tried a few different lines, but it slowed me down."

Helene Olafsen of Norway finished in third.

On the men's side, Alex Pullin of Australia won gold, beating out Markus Schairer of Austria. Stian Sivertzen got the bronze. Robert Fagan of Cranbook, B.C., was the top Canadian, finishing seventh.

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