20-year-old Australian snowboarder Jarryd Hughes has claimed his first X Games gold medal in Snowboard Cross, narrowly pipping fellow Aussie, Alex "Chumpy" Pullin, on the final jump of the race in Aspen over the weekend. Pullin finished 0.4 seconds behind Hughes to claim silver, making for a rare Aussie double at the Winter X Games.
“It was a tough race and everyone was killing it,’’ Hughes said.
“I made a few mistakes on that last run but I raced my race and did it. All I could think about was winning gold here. I am just so happy I am finally here.’’
Photo: X Games/ESPN
Hughes made a solid start to the race, but found himself back in 3rd around the halfway point, as his compatriot pulled away with the lead. Pullin went too high on the final jump, though, and Hughes kept low on his way to a groundbreaking victory.
The result caps a brilliant comeback for the NSW-based youngster, who underwent knee surgery in July that rendered him unable to ride during the Australian snow season. It was a dominant effort in Aspen, with his gold medal coming after he also qualified in 1st place, and won his quarter-final and semi-final races.
Hughes' next stop is Russia, where he'll look to back up his excellent start to 2016 in the next round of the Snowboard Cross World Cup.
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