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Freestyle skier dominates halfpipe for gold

Swiss skier Virginie Faivre spun her way through a halfpipe competition on Thursday to win the gold medal at the World Freestyle Ski Championships in Japan.

The 26-year-old from canton Vaud scored 40.2 points to beat second-place finisher Megan Gunning of Canada by just 0.2 points. American Jennifer Hudak came third with 38.4 points.

"I wanted a medal," Faivre said. "That it is gold is unbelievable. Today is the best day of my life."

Thursday's win in Inawashiro adds to Faivres's list of accomplishments in freestyle events. In January she won a World Cup halfpipe contest in Les Contamines, France. Later that month she narrowly missed a podium finish in halfpipe at Park City, Utah, where she was placed fourth. In 2007 she won a slopestyle event at Whistler in British Columbia.

Swiss men didn't do so well at the competition on Japan's main island of Honshu. Nils Lauper, David Ortlieb and Reto Comincioli took 20th, 21st and 22nd places respectively.

Faivre's victory will be the last for the Swiss team in Japan as no other athletes have qualified to compete in the final heats of the remaining contests.


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