It was a golden weekend for Reece Howden of Cultus Lake, British Columbia. In two World Cup men’s ski cross competitions in Idre Fjall, Sweden, Howden placed first each time.
On Saturday, Howden placed ahead of silver medalist Jonas Lenheer of Switzerland and bronze medalist Niklas Bachsleitner of Germany. Then on Sunday, Howden placed ahead of silver medalist Ryan Regez of Switzerland, and bronze medalist Jonas Lenherr of Switzerland.
Howden won his first-round race on Saturday. That was followed by a second-place spot in the third quarterfinal heat behind Bachsleitner, and then a win in the second semifinal heat. Then on Sunday, Howden finished second in the first round behind Jean Frederic Chapuis of France, before wins in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final.
In the World Cup men’s ski cross standings, Howden leads with 470 points. Regez is in second with 341 points.
Meanwhile, in women’s ski cross on Sunday, Canadian Olympic gold medallist Marielle Thompson of North Vancouver, British Columbia placed third. Fanny Smith of Switzerland won gold and Alizee Barron of France won silver. For Thompson, it was her 46th career World Cup medal and fifth of the season. She previously won a silver in Arosa, Switzerland on December 16, a bronze in Val Thorens, France on December 20 and 21, and a silver in Idre Fjall, Sweden on January 20.
In Idre Fjall on Sunday, Thompson won her quarterfinal heat, and was second to Baron in the second semifinal. Thompson is currently second in the World Cup standings in women’s ski cross with 378 points. Smith leads with 585 points. The medals for Thompson, who won the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in women’s ski cross, and Howden will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.