Britain's top ranked snowboarder Zoe Gillings finished third in the snowboardcross final at the FIS Snowboard World Cup Finals earlier today (Friday) in Valmalenco, Italy.
The 23-year-old athlete from the Isle of Man emerged battered and bruised from her races, having suffered a mid-air collision with Olivia Nobs of Switzerland in the semi-final. Despite the collision, Gillings continued to finish second in that race, while Nobs unfortunately had to be taken away from the course on a stretcher.
Gillings, who had earlier finished second in her quarter final, was able to ride in the final race of a long World Cup season stretching back to September in Argentina, but reported that she felt sore from the crash.
In the circumstances, her third place in the final behind winner Maelle Ricker of Canada and her compatriot Dominique Maltais was an impressive performance and ensured that Gillings achieved her target of finishing the World Cup season in the top six in the rankings in this pre-Olympic year. Ranked seventh before the finals, her third place means that she moves into fifth position in the final rakings of the season.
Gillings said: “I’ve just told my mum that physically I’ve got lots wrong with me but mentally I’m okay. My right elbow hurts along with my left knee, right hip, left foot, right heel, right eye and right thigh. I think I’m going to have a lovely
black eye in a couple of hours. I think it was pure adrenaline that got me through the finals and that’s wearing off now”.
“I’m delighted with the result; it’s a brilliant end to the season. I’m glad I managed to stay on my feet throughout the finals, a podium finish is perfect.”