It was a tough day for Canada’s men’s snowboardcross team at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics Thursday.
Top finisher was Calgary’s Chris Robanske, who made it to the semifinals where he crashed and was taken off the course by snowmobile.
Robanske went for an MRI on his knee. Robanske also went down in his quarterfinal race, but managed to get back up and finish in third to qualify for the semifinal.
Vernon’s Kevin Hill, Canada’s top finisher in the event four years ago in Sochi, Russia (eighth overall), qualified for the quarterfinals, but finished fourth in his quarters race and did not advance.
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Hill had family and friends watching his race live at a Vernon restaurant.
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Sainte-Marie, Que., native Eliot Grondin fell in his heat race and also didn’t advance.
Baptise Brochu had pulled out of the competition after suffering an injury in training.
Pierre Vaultier of France repeated as Olympic gold medallist.
The defending world champion and crashed in the semifinal, but still managed to finish. And in the final world No. 1 got out in front out of the gate, and never relinquished his lead.
France has earned medals in the event in every Olympics since snowboardcross made its debut in Torino, Italy in 2006.
Australian Jarryd Hughes won silver and Spain’s Regino Hernandez won bronze for the country’s first winter Olympic medal since 1992.