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CHAMONIX, France, Jan. 8, 2004 (AP) -- Bryon Friedman's picture isn't in the International Ski Federation guide, yet the 23-year-old American is getting noticed in his first season on the World Cup ski circuit.

Friedman placed third in Thursday's final training session for the World Cup event at the Alpine resort of Chamonix with a time of 1:58.82, behind Switzerland's Ambrosi Hoffmann and Bruno Kernen, who each finished in 1:58.78. He is to compete Friday and Saturday in the downhill and combined.

Friedman best run came earlier this season at Val Gardena, Italy, when he placed second in training. He went on to finish 19th overall in the downhill race on Dec. 20.

"After training in Val Gardena, I was very nervous," Friedman said. "I was so excited to be rubbing shoulders with the big guns that I couldn't sleep all night. This time, I'm ready and I'm aiming for a top 10 spot in the downhill and a top five in the combined."

Friedman said he has recovered from an injury-plagued 2003 season in which he missed several months of races following an ankle operation in February.

"Friedman can certainly do well on Sunday," said Daron Rahlves, the 2001 super-G world champion and Olympic silver medalist. "I would even say he's one of the favorites."

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

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