Winter Olympics 2022 – Charlotte Bankes shows class in stunning QF race but misses out on team snowboard cross medal
Charlotte Bankes outlined why she is the snowboard cross world champion when winning her quarter-final despite starting the race last. The Briton, who was tipped for gold in the women’s cross but suffered quarter-final heartache, helped Team GB reach the mixed team small final and finished sixth overall alongside team-mate Huw Nightingale.
Charlotte Bankes of Team Great Britain competes during the Snowboard Mixed Team Cross Quarterfinals on Day 8 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park on February 12, 2022
Women’s cross champion Lindsey Jacobellis was in the next quarter-final, and after USA team-mate Nick Baumgartner finished his race second, she was almost brought down by Australian Josie Baff but managed to stay up to come first in a race where another Aussie, Belle Brockhoff, also fell.
Switzerland joined USA in the semis after both Australian teams crashed out, and in the third quarter-final it was men’s silver-medallist Eliot Grondin who avoided the carnage to give Canada a strong advantage ahead of ROC, France and USA 2.
Grondin’s team-mate Meryeta O'Dine started 3.96 seconds ahead of the chasing pack, and she just about held on for second as Kristina Paul overtook her to finish first for ROC.
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It was Team GB’s turn in the fourth and final quarter-final heat, with Nightingale and Bankes up against Austria, Canada 2 and Italy 2.
Nightingale finished his leg fourth, 1.51 seconds behind first, meaning Bankes had to play catch-up in order to help GB progress.
Bankes was heartbroken to crash out of the quarter-finals in the women’s cross, but she put in an incredible middle sector to take the lead and help GB finish first ahead of Italy 2, while men’s champion Alessandro Hammerle fell at the first hurdle with Austrian team-mate Pia Zerkhold.
“This is where Bankes is so fast… from fourth to first!” Ian Findlay said on Eurosport commentary. “We saw what can happen when you’ve got one of the world’s best making the time up.”
Come the semi-finals, there was a clash of the Olympic champions as 2018 women’s winner Moioli of Italy went head to head with Jacobellis.
The pair virtually started at the same time, and Italy’s Moioli just about edged it although both snowboarders took it steady given they were cruising ahead of Germany in third.
GB went in the second semi, and Nightingale was able to finish third, 3.34 seconds behind Canada 1 and just over two seconds behind Italy 2.
Bankes was aiming to overhaul Italian Caterina Carpano, but it was ultimately too big a gap to overcome, finishing third – 1.38 seconds behind the photo finish between Canada and Italy.
In the small final, Nightingale was third again, 3.03 seconds off first, and chasing an overall fifth-place finish Bankes was able to seal sixth as Germany won the small final.
Jacobellis went on to seal a stunning Olympic double, winning gold along with Baumgartner after pipping Moioli to the line in a thrilling final after O'Dine and Carpano collided. Canada's O'Dine picked herself up to take bronze along with Grondin.
Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+