It was a big day for Australia overnight at the FIS Snowboard Cross World Championships as Belle Brockhoff and Jarryd Hughes won the SBX Mixed Team event and finish as World Champions.
The mixed team event is a relay format – male athletes leave the start gate first and then the female athletes leave the gate, each with the respective time margin that the men crossed their line with. The fastest woman over the line is the decider for the team.
Nine teams competed in the event and the big final saw Australia compete against teams from USA (Hagen Kearney and Faye Gulini), France (Julia Pereira de Sousa Mabileau and Leo le Ble Jaques) and Italy (Michela Moioli and Lorenzo Sommariva).
Australia’s PyeongChang Winter Olympic silver medalist, Jarryd Hughes, crossed the line first, allowing Belle Brockhoff to lead the pack at the start with smidgeons of a second between her and the other athletes at the gate.
Jarryd Hughes made a stunning move in his final after USA and Italy took first and second position. The Australia overtook them, moving from third to first and remaining there on the bottom section over the rollers and across the line.
The men then cheered on their team mates as Brockhoff took the lead before the French team took over after a jump from a kicker into the inside line before Italy then passed them all. It all came down to the bottom roller and Brockhoff picked up enough speed to beat the others and win the first SBX Mixed Team World Championship medal for Australia. The Italian team took silver and the French bronze.
“Well, this is as good as it gets! We haven’t raced in a team event before ever. We knew we could do it and we were really confident in our abilities, then we just set out a really good game plan among the two of us and maximized our strengths and I am just lucky to have had such a strong rider like Belle to be riding with,” said Hughes after the event.
“I am really stoked to be here, especially after yesterday’s fall, it’s a bit of a redemption, so I am very happy and very excited,” added Brockhoff.
The FIS World Championship gold medal adds to Brockhoff’s already impressive medal haul in her FIS career with four gold, four silver and four bronze FIS World Cup medals. Hughes, who won the Winter Olympic silver medal in 2018 has also notched up three FIS World Cup medals with two gold and one silver.