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Hockey winners: goalkeeper Pérez hoists the cup after yesterday's victory Hockey winners: goalkeeper Pérez hoists the cup after yesterday's victory. iihf

Mexico wins gold in hockey championships

Tomorrow, attention turns to snow sculptures in Colorado

With all the snow that has been seen in some parts of Mexico this winter, perhaps it should be no surprise to see this country participating — and winning — in cold-weather sports.

Team Mexico won the gold medal yesterday in the International Ice Hockey Federation under-20 world championship in Division III.

It was the country’s third gold-medal win in this category since 2005.

Mexico won the final 9-2 over South Africa, playing at the Mexico City Ice Dome, after winning four out of five other games in the championship.

Team Mexico beat Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria and New Zealand in the round-robin event, losing only to Iceland. The win propels Mexico into Division II next year.

It was goaltending that won the day for Mexico and a best goalkeeper award for Jaime Pérez. Not one of the team’s players was among the top 10 goal scorers.

The silver medal went to Bulgaria and the bronze to New Zealand.

Tomorrow, attention turns from an ice rink to blocks of snow.

A Mexican team will be among 16 that are competing in the 26th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Mexico will be up against a slew of countries whose climate would lead one to expect them to be participating in such a competition: Canada, Finland, Mongolia and Switzerland, for example.

But normally being faced with a scarcity of snow, the Mexican sculptors, say organizers, practice with sand.

Each four-person team is given a 20-tonne block of snow, measuring about three and a half meters high, and 65 hours to turn the block into a work of art using their bare hands and a selection of hand tools.

The competition closes at 10:00am Saturday when the winners are chosen.

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