SPORTS

Canadians Kevin Hill, Mark McMorris, claim gold at Winter X Games

01/23/2015 06:55 EST | Updated 03/25/2015 05:59 EDT
ASPEN, Colo. - Kevin Hill of Vernon, B.C., grabbed the lead on the first turn and went on to capture the gold medal in the men's snowboard cross Friday at the Winter X Games.

''X-Games was at the top of my list to win and to take the gold here means the world to me,'' Hill said. ''It's been my No. 1 goal for a long time.''

It was the second medal in a week for Hill. He was second in a snowboard cross event last Friday at the FIS world snowboard championships.

Hill was with the pack for about 15 seconds when he pulled ahead for good as he soared off the second jump. Omar Visintin of Italy was second while American Nate Holland took third in the six-man final.

''It was the best feeling ever to be able to get an early lead and take the race from start to finish,'' Hill said. ''I've never felt so fast and confident on my snowboard.''

Dominique Maltais of Petite-Riviere-St-Francois, Que., was second in the women's race. American Lindsay Jacobellis finished first while France's Nelly Moenne Loccoz was third.

Maltais, a two-time Olympic medallist, bounced around between first, second and third before Jacobellis took control about three quarters down the course.

''I had a really good start but I got stuck in traffic,'' said Maltais. ''I stuck to my line and stayed aggressive throughout the run.

"Closer to the end I think Lindsay drafted me a little bit which allowed her to pass me. I tried to pass her but ran out of time.''

In the adaptive snowboard X for riders with a disability, Alex Massie of Barrie, Ont., won the bronze medal and Paralympian John Leslie of Arnprior, Ont., was fourth.

Olympic slopestyle bronze medallist Mark McMorris of Regina scored 88.00 combined points to win gold in the big air final. McMorris scored 47 points on his top run and 41 on his second best for the combined score.

Montreal's Max Parrot took silver with 82 points and Yuki Kadono of Japan placed third with 66.

McMorris was also the top qualifier in the slopestyle competition while Montreal's Sebastien Toutant ranked fourth. The final is Sunday.

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