Sunday, 12 February 2006
Mitch Allan has laid down the two best runs of his life on his way to 31st place in the snowboard halfpipe in Bardonecchia on February 12 (Day 2).
Allan rode to 19th place in the opening qualification run, earning 28.8 points from the judges, then 24th place with 23.7 points in his second trip down the pipe.
Team-mate Andrew Burton was one place further back on 21.8 points, with Ben Mates in 42nd place after falling on both of his rides.
Eighteen-year-old Allan, the youngest member of the Australian team, had produced an impressive set of tricks in a clean run in the first qualification round, but his amplitude was not particularly big.
In the second run he went high and was heading for a place close to the 12-man finals when he clipped the edge of the pipe on his last hit of the second run.
Despite the last minute mistake, the Jindabyne rider was delighted with the second run and his first Olympic experience.
"It was the second best run of my life. The first run was the best. I just fell on the last hit (of the second run) and lost a lot of points and maybe if I'd got that I would have qualified, but I'm still happy," Allan said.
"It was a frontside 1080 and that was my last trick and I left a little bit early and clipped the deck and just sketched out.
"Every hit was probably bigger than I've ever gone in training as well and the crowd fired me up, everyone fired me up, it was good.
"It's the best experience I could get coming here at this age, so I think I will be ready for the next one which I really want to do and be focussed on that.
"I had a few nerves up the top but managed to turn that into riding somehow."
In perfect conditions and in front of a packed crowd American rider Shaun White, who just scraped into the final, won the event with a score of 46.8 points, from team-mate Danny Kass on 44.0 points and Markku Koski of Finland on 41.5 points.
Barry White / AOC