Defending champ Schmid out of ski cross

Defending champ Schmid out of ski cross

<p>Canada had a strong presence in the top seeding of the men's ski cross on Thursday, though the event will be decided without defending gold medalist Michael Schmid.</p>

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Canada had a strong presence in the top seeding of the men's ski cross on Thursday, though the event will be decided without defending gold medalist Michael Schmid.

The Swiss pulled out of the event due to a left knee injury suffered while training on Saturday. Schmid won the first ever men's ski cross gold when it debuted four years ago in the Vancouver Games.

Sweden's Victor Oehling Norberg earned the top seed with a time of 1 minute, 15.59 seconds. He is followed by a pair of Canadians in Christopher Del Bosco (1:15.91) and Brady Leman (1:16.43), while their fellow countryman David Duncan is sixth with a time of 1:17.31.

The lone American in the event, 30-year-old John Teller, came in 20th with a time of 1:18.14.

Making his Olympic debut, Teller is a former Alpine racer who switched to ski cross in his mid-20's. He finished third in the 2013 FIS World Championships.

France's Jean Frederic Chapuis, the 2013 FIS World Champion, finished fourth with a time of 1:16.77, coming in .05 ticks ahead of Australian Anton Grimus.

Austrian Andreas Matt, who won silver four years ago in Vancouver, is 12th following a time of 1:17.55.

Both Leman and Duncan finally hit Olympic snow after a disappointing turn of events four years ago. Duncan broke his collarbone while training at the Games and had to withdraw from the event, replaced by Leman.

However, the first alternate crashed during his training run and was unable to compete. Leman aggravated a broken tibia suffered in March of 2009, bending the road that had been implanted in his leg.

Del Bosco, meanwhile, finished fourth in Vancouver after his gamble for a silver medal failed. During the final and sitting in third, he made a push on the final jump and ended up falling, knocking himself out of a medal.

Each skier -- minus Schmid -- qualified for the final and are next broken into groups of four, with the top two advancing to quarter and semifinals before one last run to determine medals.

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