Kelsey Serwa soared to a silver medal Saturday at a World Cup ski cross event in Italy.

Kelsey Serwa soared to a silver medal Saturday at a World Cup ski cross event in Italy.

Serwa wins silver in Italy, builds to Olympics

Kelowna ski cross racer continues successful return from knee surgery with second and fifth-place efforts in San Candido

With the Olympic Games in Sochi just over six weeks away, Kelsey Serwa looks to be back in world-class form.

The 24-year-old from Kelowna, who is returning from her second knee injury in as many years, won a silver medal Saturday at a World Cup ski cross race Saturday in San Candido, Italy.

On Sunday, she followed up with a fifth-place overall finish with a win in the small final.

Serrwa now has 16 World Cup podium results since her ski cross career began in 2009.

The results pretty much assure Serwa a berth on Canada’s team for the Olympics in Russia.

In Saturday’s race, Serwa won her first two heats and advanced from a dramatic semifinal that was initially led by her teammate and 2012 Crystal Globe winner Marielle Thompson.

“It’s always good being in a heat with a teammate and we work well together,” said Serwa who was second behind Thompson before a series of events changed the complexion of the race.

“I was like, ‘Oh yeah, two Canadians going through to the finals.’ This is all going through my head and then I was swinging wide on the jump and Karolina (Riemen-Zerebecka, of Poland) landed on me and Fanny (Smith, of Switzerland) passed me. Then all of a sudden Marielle’s ski popped off.”

In the final Smith and Serwa did battle again, with the Swiss racer coming out on top and Sweden’s Anna Holmlund finishing third.

“In the final I was confident heading in because I had been beating Fanny out of the start and was really starting to dial it in. I was calm and focused,” said Serwa, the 2011 world champion and X Games gold medallist. “I won the start and then we just got tangled up coming out of the first or second turn. I followed her down to the finish.”

Serwa, who was fourth in Friday’s qualification round, had likely already done enough to qualify for nomination to Canada’s team for Sochi but Saturday’s result offers a little more certainty.

“My knee feels way better than it did at this time last year and I’m really starting to figure things out,” Serwa said.


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