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Owen Pick misses out on Paralympic medal by narrow margin



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Owen Pick missed out on a history-making Paralympic medal by just 0.19 seconds on a brilliant day for the British snowboarding in Beijing.

Pick, from Red Lodge, finished fourth in his SB-LL2 banked slalom event as team-mate Ollie Hill became the first British boarder to claim a spot on the Paralympic podium.

The 30-year-old military veteran clocked a fine first run time of 1:10.64 but Hill, 32, pipped him to the podium as a run of 1:10.45 proved enough for memorable bronze medal.

GB snowboarder Owen Pick at the Winter Paralympics. Picture: GB Paralympics
GB snowboarder Owen Pick at the Winter Paralympics. Picture: GB Paralympics

Hill, who had his right leg amputated in 2018 and only joined the GB Snowsport set-up in 2020, said: “I know Owen has ridden his best – he did everything in both runs.

“We both knew that we were going to have to have a good first run each, which is what we did.

“Fourth is always the worst place to come in some ways because you’re so close to silverware.

“But at the same time, it’s not the end of the road – if he wants to crack on, I’m sure he will ,and we’ll continue to perform and continue as a team.

“There are days where he beats me, there are days when I do better and today was obviously my day.”

Pick, who carried the British flag at PyeongChang 2018, claimed an admirable ninth in his first snowboard cross event on Monday.

The technically-challenging banked slalom was moved forward by 24 hours because of boiling Beijing conditions but Pick kept his cool to deliver a brilliant first run.

His time catapulted himself into contention but it wasn’t enough for a medal as homes favourite Qi Sun grabbed gold ahead of Finnish flyer Matti Suur-Hamari.

British star Hill clinched the final spot on the podium and he admits it wouldn’t have been possible without Pick’s experienced Paralympic influence.

“Without him, I wouldn’t even be here in the first place,” added Hill. “Without him, none of us would be here, so I can’t ever deny my love for him.

“He’s a role model – he’s always here for me, is nothing but supportive for me and my journey and if it was the other way round, I’d be just as stoked for him as he is for me.

“He’s already come and given me a big hug and congratulated me, and that’s the kind of love you have in snowboarding compared to other sports.

“I’m just really grateful to be part of this dynamic team.”

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