Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Pierre Vaultier of France captured the gold medal in the snowboard cross event of the Sochi Winter Olympics after a dramatic final at Rosa Khutor Park.
Vaultier, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] in December, finished ahead of Nikolay Olyunin of Russia and Alex Deibold of the United States.
The event had been delayed by 24 hours due to heavy fog on Monday, which saw the usual seedings round axed. Athletes were placed in heats according to their world rankings.
Olyunin impressed throughout, winning each of his races before losing out to Vaultier in the final.
By finishing on the podium the 26-year-old Vaultier and Diebold kept their respective nation’s record of winning a snowboard cross medal in each Olympics it has featured in since the sport debuted at the 2006 Games in Turin.
Early contenders Nate Holland of USA and Australian Alex Pullin fell in the early rounds while
World Cup leader Omar Visintin of Italy crashed in the semifinal.