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DMT Aug 9 '18

By Al Campbell

CALGARY Chicago Bears Hoodie , Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Justin Dorey captured his maiden World Cup ski halfpipe win Friday as the Canadian men made a clean sweep of the podium in Alberta.

With the top-ranked Americans skipping the event in Canada's oil capital as the U.S. Ski Association didn't consider it a qualifying event for the country's Olympic team, English teenager Rowan Cheshire rose to the occasion and claimed the women's competition at the third World Cup event of the season. The victory marked the first time a Briton had won a halfpipe event.

With ski halfpipe set to be included at next month's Sochi Winter Olympic Games for the first time, Dorey, a 25-year-old veteran of the World Cup circuit, has picked a good year to have a career-best year.

After a third in the season-opener in New Zealand, the British Columbia native was fourth in Colorado last month and now sits second in the halfpipe standings behind overall leader Aaron Blunk of America.

On Friday at Calgary's Canada Olympic Park, a legacy venue from the city's hosting of the 1988 Winter Games, Dorey executed one of the only 1260s of the day, followed by a switch left 720 dub Japan towards the end of his run for 87.20 points. Compatriots Noah Bowman (84.40) and Matt Margetts (82.60) finished second and third respectively, in front of an appreciative home crowd.

"I was having issues all week with that first trick, the double 12, and that was actually the only one I've landed since I've been here, so finally it was time for me to put one down. So yeah, I'm really happy with the way today went," said Dorey, paying tribute to his teammates.

"We have a lot of talent on the pipe team right now. We got top four today, so going into the Games we feel pretty confident. Hopefully we can get three, maybe four of our guys into the Games."

Cheshire was equally impressive in providing Britain with a genuine medal threat for Sochi. After finishing 10th at Copper Mountain in Colorado last month, at the time her best result, the 18-year-old from Stoke, England, scored 80.40 in her first run to finish ahead of Switzerland's Virginie Faivre (79.80), last year's halfpipe overall winner and world champion who is coming off a broken back. Australian Amy Sheehan (79.20) was third.

With the snow soft in the unseasonably warm weather, Cheshire made the best of the slow conditions starting with an impressive tail grab before displaying the smoothest right-side flare of the ladies competition.

Through three World Cup events the Brit is now second in the overall standings, 10 points behind leader Devin Logan of the U.S.

"It's so amazing. I had a bit of a bad crash in practice, but I kinda tried to pull it together in the comp, even though my heart was racing, and I'm so glad I was able to do that and get my run down how I wanted to," Cheshire said.

"I was just trying not to speed check, trying not to slow down, and just cutting it in. Luckily we waxed our skis last night.

"This allows me to qualify for Sochi and opens up a quota spot (for the British team). So now it's just up to the board to decide who the team is. But this helps a lot."

On Saturday, the Calgary venue will host the second moguls World Cup of the season.

A police officer stands guard at Place de la Republique a week after a series of deadly attacks in the French capital, in Paris, France, November 21, 2015. REUTERSEric Gaillard

PARIS - French police have released seven of the eight people rounded up when they raided a flat last Wednesday where the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks was hiding, a judicial source said.

Islamic State jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, one of the group's most high-profile European recruits, died during the police assault along with a woman believed to be his cousin and a third person yet to be identified.

During the raid, police took in eight people for questioning, five from inside the building in the northern St. Denis suburb and three from outside, including a man who said he was in charge of the property and is still being held.

A source close to the investigation said the five from inside who have been freed were believed just to be squatters without proper identity papers, while a man and a woman picked up outside have also been released.

Investigators believe Abaaoud, a Moroccan-born Belgian who had fought for Islamic State in Syria, was the mastermind behind the shootings and bombings at the national soccer stadium, a famous concert venue and several bars and restaurants.

European governments thought he was still in Syria until a tip-off from Morocco that he was in France at the time of the attacks, the worst in the country since World War II.

Abaaoud was caught on camera in the east of Paris after the initial wave of shootings, heading into a metro station not far from an abandoned black Seat Leon which had three AK47 assault rifles, five full ammunition clips and 11 empty clips inside.

Two sources involved in the investigation said on Saturday his fingerprints were on one of the weapons but it was not clear whether he took part in the shootings, or had just handled the rifle. The fingerprints of Brahim Abdeslam, who blew himself up after attacking a cafe, were on another of the AK47s.

France has launched a massive investigation to get to the bottom of exactly who was behind the massacres that killed 130 people in Paris last Friday and stunned a nation still raw from militant attacks in the capital in January.


Police tracked Abaaoud to the apartment in St. Denis by following Hasna Aitboulahcen, a woman who may have been his cousin and whose phone was being tapped as part of a drugs investigation.

Officials reported that she had blown herself up during the raid, but a source close to the investigation said on Friday that someone else in the flat had used the explosive vest.

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