Australia´s Torah Bright put a big smile on her face by becoming the new Olympic champion in the snowboard halfpipe event at the Vancouver 2010.
The native of Cooma arrived at these Games with two concussions suffered while training. But nothing could stop her from landing a difficult switchback 720 that took her to the lead at Cypress Mountain.
“I always look at the guys’s riding to take my level of riding up a little bit,” said Bright. “My brother, Ben, has always there pushing me on, too.”
And she boosted her level with tricks that usually girls don’t do at this competence.
From the beginning to the end Bright dominated the list of 30 participants, qualifying directly to the final with her starting score of 45.8
In the final run, Bright got the mark of 45 out of 50 points that were more than enough to defeat American Hanna Teter.
Teter, gold medalist in Torino 2006, couldn’t repeat her title this time. She decided to play safe and don’t take the risk with hard tricks that could have put her out of the podium.
The 23-year-old advanced to the big final since the first round. She had a clean run with good amplitude and a backside 540 trick but far away from Bright’s performance.
Teter picked up silver while team mate Kelly Clark got the bronze.
“Almost” for Canada
Mercedes Nicoll was the best ranked Thursday of the three representatives of Team Canada. She finished sixth after earning her best score in the semifinals with 40.1 points.
In the final, the Vancouver native executed a front 7 but in the second run she fell down costing her the chance to win a medal.
Sarah Conrad could just make it to the semi-finals where she made a front side air and had good spin combinations but she couldn’t land her last trick.
Palmer Taylor went home with a good Olympic experience after being the youngest of Canada’s Team and finishing 26th.
Queralt Castellet rushed to the hospital
Spain’s Queralt Castellet was taken to the hospital after having an accident before the snowboard halfpipe final.
Castellet was training during a session before the big event when she fell on the pipe, hitting her head and having a concussion. After a few minutes, the athlete recovered from the stroke but the judges did not allow her to continue to the final.