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Awesome final effort for Fitch

16 January 2012

Alex Fitch has had a great competition but narrowly missed a medal in an exciting finals competition at the women’s snowboard halfpipe.

Fitch went into the final in fourth position and after her blistering semi-final run which had her looking good for a podium finish.  Minutes before she was due to compete however Fitch was not where she would have liked to be, hurting her back when her snowboard kicked back on a hard fall in practice.

The talented young rider from the NSW Central Coast put down a clean first run, mimicking her previous routines, getting 60.75 from the judges for her efforts.

After the six athletes, Fitch was sitting in fourth, with Japan’s Hikaru Ohe in first, USA’s Arielle Gold in second and French snowboarder Lucile Lefevre in third.

With nothing to lose in the last run, 16-year-old Fitch gave it all she had but was unlucky to catch an edge losing her a fair bit of speed coming into the bottom of the pipe. She finished the run to loud Aussie cheers from the crowd, getting 60.75 and fourth overall.

Despite coming achingly close to a Youth Olympic medal, Fitch was upbeat about her performance.

“It was pretty good,” she said. “I had a bit of a fall in practice which I didn’t want to do, so I just did the same runs as I did in both qualifiers and semis.

“ I just wanted to keep it safe and do my safety runs so I got that down and ended up coming fourth so that was pretty good anyway, a great result. I was happy to be here and be in finals and be with my friends in snowboard.”

Ohe won gold pulling a huge score of 96.25 in her final run. Gold took silver on 90.00 and Lefevre bronze on 82.25.

“I’ve competed against them before and I knew they were going to be pretty good,” Fitch said of the medallists. “I tried to prepare myself as much as I could, but they were obviously really good and above a level I am so hopefully I can go back to training and step it up a bit.”

The Games are far from over for Fitch however as she still has the women’s slopestyle event starting on Tuesday.

“I’m going to check out the course today,” she said. “It’s just been finished and it’s a pretty exciting course so hopefully I’ll get to get to ride it a bit.”

Alice Wheeler
Australian Olympic Committee

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