(ISN) – KREISCHBERG, Austria – When he saw the icy conditions for Friday’s snowboardcross competition at the world championships, Kevin Hill knew he was in for a wild ride. It all ended brilliantly for the Vernon, B.C. resident as he captured his first world championship podium with a silver.
Hill, 28, was runner-up in each of the elimination rounds – from the round of 16 to the Big Final, a rather dicey position when only the top-two advanced. In that Big Final he had to come from behind to assure himself the silver medal position behind winner Luca Matteotti of Italy. American riders Nick Baumgartner and Nate Holland were third and fourth.
”I started the day a little unsettled, very excited to race but with extra added pressure from myself,” said Hill, eighth at the Winter Olympics last year. ” The course was one of my least favourites in the past few years, more so because of the weather leading to the event with warm weather and then freezing weather.”
Those conditions made for high speeds and icy turns but Hill was in control. ”I worked hard to make it to the final. When the gate dropped I left it on the line and got some luck. I’m very excited, I can’t thank the Canadian support team enough and now I’m ready to go get a medal at X-Games.”
Christopher Robanske of Calgary was 27th and Baptiste Brochu of Saguenay, Que., 35th.
In women’s competition, two-time Olympic medallist Dominique Maltais of Petite-Rivière-St-François, Que., won the small final for fifth place overall. That race was a rematch of the Olympic final as Maltais got a measure of revenge on Sochi champion Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic.
”I’m not disappointed with the overall result at all I went for it,” said Maltais, second to the Czech at the Games. ”At the level we are riding right now, many of us are in contention for the medals. There was a strong field for the small final and I really wanted to win it. It was a chance to bounce back from my race in Sochi.”’
In the semifinal, Maltais was third behind Lindsay Jacobellis of the U.S., and Nelly Moenne Loccoz of France who were 1-2 in the Big Final.
Tess Critchlow of Kelowna, B.C., was 14th, Carle Brenneman of Whistler 16th and Zoe Bergermann of Erin, Ont., 23rd.