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SOCHI, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Sochi Olympics silver medalist in men’s snowboard cross Nikolai Olyunin said he was able to fight for the gold in the final race, but decided against risking chances of taking no medal at all.
The 22-year-old Russian snowboarder conceded the gold to French Pierre Vaultier after they crossed the tracks at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park course in the final competition on Tuesday. Alex Deibold of the United States clinched the bronze medal.
On the whole, he said, all snowboarders were “a bit nervous today as they feared that the competition could have been postponed again” due to weather conditions. The event was originally slated for February 17, but was rescheduled for Tuesday due to heavy fog, which embraced the Mountain Cluster of the Sochi Olympics on Monday.
Denis Tikhomirov, head coach of the Russian Olympic snowboarding team, voiced almost the same opinion as Olyunin did about the silver medal, but at the same time expressed his regret about the missed gold.
Olyunin’s silver on Tuesday is the first ever Olympic medal for Russia’s men snowboarding team. The first Olympic snowboarding award for Russia was snatched at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver, where Yekaterina Ilyukhina won silver in women’s parallel giant slalom.