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Canada surprises with bronze medal in mixed team ski jump

Mixed team event makes its Olympic debut
Canada’s Alexandria Loutitt, left, celebrates with teammates Matthew Soukup, Abigail Strate and Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes during the the venue ceremony after winning a bronze in the ski jumping mixed team event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Matthias Schrader

Canada won a surprise bronze medal in the mixed team ski jumping competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The Canadian team of Alexandria Loutitt, Matthew Soukup, Abigail Strate and Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes placed third with a combined score of 844.6 points.

Slovenia won the gold medal in dominating style with 1,001.5 points, while Russia took silver with 890.3 points.

Toronto’s Boyd-Clowes, 30, secured the bronze on Canada’s final jump, travelling 101.5 metres and scoring 128.1 points.

The mixed team event, which took place at the Zhangjiakou Ski Jump Centre, was making its Olympic debut at the Beijing Games.

Canada had never won an Olympic medal in any ski jumping discipline.

Germany, one of the favourites to win, was disqualified after the first round because of an equipment violation by Katharina Althaus, who won silver for the second straight Olympics on Saturday.

Japan, with Olympic champion Ryoyu Kobayashi and star Sara Takanashi, finished fourth in the 10-nation field after Takanashi had a jump disqualified. Kobayashi won on the normal hill on Sunday, becoming the first Japanese jumper to finish first in the event since Yukio Kasaya in 1972.

Men have been ski jumping at the Winter Olympics since the first one in 1924. Women did not have access to the sport at the Olympics until 2014.

The International Ski Federation hosted the first mixed team event in 2012, when Takanashi was part of the winning team, and it has been at the World Cup four times over the last decade.

Norway was the only nation that earned a spot on the podium in each of the previous four mixed team World Cup events, but that streak was snapped with an eighth-place finish.

While the women are finished jumping in China, the men have two more opportunities with the large hill in an individual event Saturday and team competition next Monday.

— With files from The Associated Press

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