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Jarryd Hughes wins silver in Snowboard Cross

15 February 2018

SNOWBOARD CROSS: Dual Olympian Jarryd Hughes has won silver in the men's Snowboard Cross final at Phoenix Park.

The 22-year-old finished just behind Sochi 2014 gold medallist and current World Champion Pierre Vaultier (France) and was joined on the podium by Spain's Regino Hernandez who took bronze.

"As long as I'm enjoying it and having fun, more results like this are going to come along," Hughes said.

"The want to do well and my family, I couldn't have done any of this without my mum and dad. They've been amazing and I don't think I can thank them enough.

"I've been very fortunate to work with a lot of great people around the Olympics and the last few days I've been sitting there chatting with Alyce Burnett who's a kayaking Olympian and we've been able to chat about stuff and just kind of get my mind off it and not be too focussed so it's been really cool."

After a total of five knee surgeries since 2013, the Sydneysider said while it's been "rough" and "a long process" he was "just happy to be here". 

Hughes was left speechless whaen asked how it felt to be an Olympic silver medallist.

"I'll have come back to you," he joked.

Following a crash during the medal run, dual World Champion and triple Olympian Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin finished in sixth place -- his best Olympic result to date.

"It was a real shame but I didn't want to walk away today with any regrets and I was going for the gold," he said.

"Once I made the final I wanted to win here and really give it a shot ... I walk away happy to have really put myself in with a chance today, no regrets."

The 30-year-old added that he was "stoked" for the Australian team having three riders in the top 12 and a silver medal. 

"[It's] pretty cool to see a fellow Aussie in the final and even riding through some heats with Cam earlier was really awesome too," he said.

"To me, I don't really see it as a big four year cycle. I love my snowboarding, I love my racing but I really treat it year-by-year and analysing how each event goes. The fact that I'm 30-years-old and walked away from the biggest flat ladning I've had is pretty impressive to me."

Sochi Olympian Cam Bolton finished tenth, placing fourth in the Small Final after a crash in the semi final saw him injure his wrist and narrowly miss out on joining Hughes and Pullin in the Super Final

The 27-year-old said while it was "disappointing to go out in that semi final" he was glad to be "able to get back out of the gate and secure that top ten spot."

"I'm proud of that even though it wasn't what I was aiming for," he said.

"It looks like I've torn some tendons or ligaments in the back of my elbow. We got it all splintered up and I was able to pull out of that last gate with my whole arm being still."

On his teammate's silver, Bolton said that it was an "incredible" result for Australia and the boardercross program.

"A great result for Jarryd, [he's] riding really strongly," he added.

Earlier, Olympic rookie Adam Lambert narrowly missed out on progressing through to the quarter finals after being caught up in a crash in the eighth finals, finishing just outside the top three in fourth place.

"I really wanted to do well here, I felt like I was riding the course super well but it's racing and things happen, sometimes they're out of your control," he said.

"I'll take the experience away, I'm an Olympian now which is awesome and I'll come back in four years time and race in Beijing and hopefully go for gold there instead of here."

The 19-year-old added that his Olympic experience had "been a lot different to what I expected".

"All the races I've had leading up to this have been on a way smaller scale," he said.

"It's so awesome to just be here but it's so different to what I'm used to and to at least have that experience moving forward it's a great time and I'm glad I could come."

In the morning, Hughes beat Vaultier to finish first in his eighth final, while Bolton and Pullin both finished second in their respective heats.

With all three Aussies competing in same semifinal, the pressure was on to secure a top three result for the Big Final.

Pullin was first across the line with Hughes in a close second and Vaultier securing the final spot in the medal run.

David Barden
olympics.com.au

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