Australian pair strikes gold
Torah Bright competes in the FIS Snowboard Half Pipe World Cup. Photo: EZRA SHAW
Snowboard stars Torah Bright and Nate Johnstone pulled off a winning double in the World Cup halfpipe event at Copper Mountain, Colorado, over the weekend.
Cooma's Bright triumphed in the women's event, beating America's former Olympic champion Kelly Clark and Spanish rider Queralt Castellet.
One of just five Australians to win a Winter Olympics gold with her victory in Vancouver in 2010, the 25-year-old showed she's returning to her best form almost a year out from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Torah Bright on the podium. Photo: Ezra Shaw
''After the Olympics I decided I didn't want to ride pipe any more for awhile. So I went and rode powder, just taking my time, taking it easy, and riding the way I wanted to ride. Just 'totally boarding', as I call it,'' Bright said.
''Now I'm stoked to be back and back on top, and stoked to have gotten the points I need to qualify for the Olympics.''
Johnstone, 22, regained the world No. 1 ranking with his win, showing his readiness for the world championships in Stoneham, Canada, next week.
AIS halfpipe coach Benny Alexander rated the victory from Americans Luke Mitrani and Louie Vito in an 83-man field as one of the best of Johnstone's career because of the quality of opposition.
The Sydney youngster was forced out of the 2010 Olympics just two weeks beforehand with an ankle injury.
Australia's Lydia Lassila took another step towards her dream of back-to-back Olympic gold when second in World Cup aerial skiing in Val Saint Come, Canada. AAP