Local Champions Keep Us On Top
Less than 48 hours after Alex Pullin claimed Gold at the Snowboard World Championships Perisher’s Holly Crawford and Nathan Johnstone have completed a stunning double act to take Australia’s total to 3 Gold Medals and lead all other nations in the medal tally.
AIS-NSWIS scholarship holders Holly Crawford and Nathan Johnstone created one of Australia’s greatest moments in winter sports with their victories in the Half Pipe event overnight.
The dual Gold medals come just 48 hours after Alex “Chumpy” Pullin became the snowboard cross World Champion, securing a historic first win for Australia.
The incredible achievements in Spain this week, combined with Perisher Resort Ambassador Torah Bright’s heroic gold medal at last year’s Olympic Winter Game in Vancouver, have clearly elevated Australia to international snowboard powerhouse status.
For 26-year-old Crawford and 20-year-old Johnstone, who have both trained and developed their skills in Perisher’s Superpipe, the World titles are their highest achievements.
Crawford grabbed the lead in her first run with a stunning performance despite a testing howling wind that caused havoc for most of the other athletes.
She finished on 26.7 points, 3.3 points ahead of Swiss rider Ursina Haller with China’s Jiayu Liu making up the other podium place with 22.5 points.
Johnstone also secured his championship in the first run and, like his teammate, handled the conditions better than the other 12 finalists finishing on 26.8 points, 0.6 ahead of Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov. Fin Markus Malin was in third place, a further 2.5 points behind the Australian.
For Johnstone, the win will erase the bitter disappointment of fracturing an ankle in a routine training mishap 12 months ago, which wiped out his dream of competing in the Vancouver Games.
Crawford, a veteran of five years on Australia’s national team and 11 World Cup podiums, now adds a gold medal to the silver she won in the 2009 World Championships in Gangwon, Korea.