Farrington joins the halfpipe gold medal club

Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:36pm EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - American cowgirl Kaitlyn Farrington stunned three former champions to win gold in the women's snowboarding halfpipe by the narrowest of margins at the Sochi Olympics on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old nailed her second run under the Extreme Park lights for a score of 91.75 to beat Australian defending champion Torah Bright by 0.25 of a point.

Farrington, who needed to run in both heats to reach the final, could barely contain her disbelief and watched nervously as the final six riders completed their runs before she could celebrate her first gold medal at a major event.

"I was hoping just to make the final, and then after the semi-finals I was riding well and I thought if I could just land my run I might be in the medals," she said.

"Watching the three gold medalists come down after me was a crazy feeling. I was happy the other medalists all landed their runs because that's what I wanted to do, but I did not expect to come out on top.

"I can't really believe it right now ... they are gold medalists and I can't believe I'm one now too."

American Kelly Clark, the 2002 champion, was awarded 90.75 for the final run of the night to take the bronze and become the first snowboarder to win three Olympic medals after also finishing third in Vancouver.

"I'm just so proud of Kaitlyn, this is her first Olympics so to see her come out and walk away Olympic champion is just amazing," said 30-year-old Clark, who was competing in her fourth Games.   Continued...

 
Kaitlyn Farrington of the U.S. performs a jump during the women's snowboard halfpipe finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake