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Alpine snowboarder Lee Sang-ho wins World Cup bronze, bolsters Beijing medal hope

South Korean alpine snowboarder Lee Sang-ho (L) poses for photos after winning bronze in the men's parallel giant slalom event at the International Ski Federation Snowboard World Cup in Scuol, Switzerland, on Saturday, in this photo provided by the Korea Ski Association. Next to Lee are Dmitrii Loginov of Russia (C), the gold medalist, and Stefan Baumeister of Germany, who won silver. (Korea Ski Association)
South Korean alpine snowboarder Lee Sang-ho (L) poses for photos after winning bronze in the men's parallel giant slalom event at the International Ski Federation Snowboard World Cup in Scuol, Switzerland, on Saturday, in this photo provided by the Korea Ski Association. Next to Lee are Dmitrii Loginov of Russia (C), the gold medalist, and Stefan Baumeister of Germany, who won silver. (Korea Ski Association)
South Korean alpine snowboarder Lee Sang-ho has collected his fourth medal in the ongoing World Cup season, further brightening hope of a second straight Olympic podium finish in Beijing next month.

Lee earned bronze in the men's parallel giant slalom race at the latest International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup event in Scuol, Switzerland, on Saturday (local time).

Lee defeated Mirko Felicetti of Italy by 0.44 second in the "small final," or the race for third place. Dmitrii Loginov of Russia won the gold over Stefan Baumeister of Germany, who did not finish his run in the "big final."

This was Lee's fourth medal in five World Cup appearances this season. He had earlier won a gold and two silver medals.

Lee still leads the overall World Cup standings with 360 points, 70 ahead of Baumeister.

Lee won silver medal in the parallel giant slalom at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018, becoming the first South Korean to grab an Olympic medal in a snow discipline.

In alpine snowboard races, athletes are placed into head-to-head knockout brackets after qualification races.

Lee had the second-fastest time in the qualification. In the round of 16, he knocked off Zan Kosir of Slovenia by 0.08 second. Then in the quarterfinals, Lee was declared the winner after his opponent, Alexander Payer of Austria, failed to finish his race.

Lee went up against Baumeister in the semifinals but lost by 0.17 second.

"I am really disappointed that I didn't get past the semifinals, but this is part of the competition," Lee said in a message shared by the Korea Ski Association on Sunday. "I am very pleased with the bronze medal here. I'll keep working hard so that I can have a great performance at the Olympics."

Lee's next World Cup event will be in Bad Gastein, Austria, on Tuesday. He will compete in the parallel slalom there. (Yonhap)

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