Place, Thompson earn gold medals at worlds in skicross event

              Gold medalist Francois Place, of France, celebrates on the podium after the men's ski cross event at the freestyle ski and snowboard world championships Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Solitude, Utah. (AP Photo/Alex Goodlett)

SOLITUDE, Utah (AP) — Francois Place of France won the men’s skicross final at the world championships by holding off Olympic gold medalist Brady Leman.

In an event that calls for side-by-side racing over bumps and jumps at high rates of speed, Place took the victory Saturday over Canadian teammates Leman and Kevin Drury. Leman captured the Olympic crown at the Pyeongchang Games last February in the fast-paced competition.

On the women’s side, Marielle Thompson of Canada beat Swiss racer Fanny Smith for the win. Alizee Baron of France captured the bronze.

Thompson was the gold medalist at the 2014 Sochi Games.