Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa (right) was third on Thursday in Val Thorens, France.

Serwa on the podium in France

Kelowna ski cross racer third in first World Cup ski cross race of season

Kelsey Serwa is back on the World Cup ski cross podium.

Coming off her third major knee operation in five years, the 28-year-old from Kelowna won the bronze medal Thursday at the opening race of the season in Val Thorens, France.

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Serwa was seventh in qualifying in France, then took second place in the quarterfinal and semifinal runs.

In the final, Serwa placed third behind gold medalist Sandra Naeslund of Sweden and runner-up Heidi Zacher of Germany.

“First race back and feeling good,” Serwa posted on her Facebook page.

Serwa missed most of the 2016-17 season when she injured her knee in training last December.

Serwa has twice won gold at the X Games and was a silver medalist at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

The Canadian team will race once again on Saturday in Val Thorens, before heading to Arosa, Switzerland for races on Monday and Tuesday.