Sochi 2014 Women's Boardercross Report - Eva Samkova gets Olympic Gold, Zoe Gillings finishes in ninth

OLYMPIC BOARDER X HIGHLIGHTS

Boardercross!
Boardercross!

As Ed Leigh so eloquently put it, “boardercross is a bit like trying to do a Rubix cube while someone beats you over the head with a frying pan.” He’s right, especially as the powers-that-be have decided that sending six people down the track at the same time is way more entertaining than a boring four.

The course was an absolute monster, huge kickers straight out of berms into un-relenting whoops, there wasn’t a straight part anywhere on the track to give the riders a break. Despite tropical temperatures it seemed to be well maintained with plenty of icy sections, perfect for racing and perfect for crashes.

Torah Bright with her last smile of the games, she was awesome
Torah Bright with her last smile of the games, she was awesome

Torah Bright was one of the highlights in this event; in the seedings she was one of the few to clear the jumps without throwing her arms everywhere, even getting a few cheeky indy grabs in here and there. Unfortunately she didn’t make it past the quarter finals but we have to say, it was a joy watching her try her hand at all-three snowboard events. PGS next time Torah? We didn’t think so…

Charlotte crashes out and disrupts the pack
Charlotte Banks crashes out and disrupts the pack

The first shock of the day was seeing the reigning champion, Maelle Ricker of Canada, going down by her own accord on one of the first toe-side corners. In the same heat Charlotte Banks (from the UK but riding for France) had the first big slam of the quarter finals, taking out several other riders and sacrificing her huge lead.

Zoe Gillings looking relaxed in the gates at her third Olympics now
Zoe Gillings looking relaxed in the gates at her third Olympics now
Zoe just missed out on the finals, look how close it was!
Zoe just missed out on the finals, look how close it was!

In the semi finals Eva Samkova and Lindsey Jacobelis – the favourites – both took huge leads in their heats, that is until Jacobelis overshot one of the last whoops and crashed out. Zoe Gillings who had been sitting in fifth in the same semi took this as her cue and motored into third, but as all of the top four washed out over the line the photo finish software put her into fourth and out. She managed a third place finish in the ‘small final,’ giving her an overall finish of ninth; another great achievement for Zoe, well done!

Lindsey Jacobelis with a surprising washout that took her out of medal contention
Lindsey Jacobelis with a surprising washout that took her out of medal contention

So going into the finals the Czech Eva Samkova – rocking an impressive faux mo – was odds on for the gold and she didn’t disappoint; in all three of her heats she was never less than a good fifteen meters ahead of her competition. She kept her huge lead in the finals and dominated the race, Dominique Maltais from Canada coming in second and Chloe Trespeuch getting bronze.

crosses the finish line and grabs gold...
Eva Samkova crosses the finish line and grabs gold…

Crashes, spills and thrill over for the women now, just the men’s boardercross to go tomorrow and that’ll be Sochi over for the snowboarders!

...she was stoked!
…she was stoked!

 

1

Eva Samkova

2

Dominique Maltais

3

Chloe Trespeuch

4

Faye Gulini

5

Alexandra Jekova

6

Michela Moioli

7

Lindsey Jacobellis

8

Belle Brockhoff

9

Zoe Gillings

10

Simona Meiler

11

Nelly Moenne Loccoz

12

Susanne Moll

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