Snowboard - Ricker world champion, Pullin defends men's title

Olympic champion Maelle Ricker finally got her hands on snowboard cross gold at the World Championship as Alex Pullin successfully defended his men's title in Stoneham.

Snowboard - Ricker world champion, Pullin defends men's title

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Maelle Ricker

Ricker is a four-time Winter X Games snowboard cross medallist, including wins in 2006 and 1999, and won Olympic gold at Vancouver 2010 however hasn't fared so well on the world stage.

She had just bronze from 2005 to her name from ten career starts at the World Championships heading into the penultimate day of action on her own snow in Canada.

However that was all about to change as Ricker stormed her way to the big final where she edged out compatriot and defending World Cup champion Dominique Maltais into second.

Maltais did upgrade her bronze from the 2011 worlds in La Molina to silver while 2009 champion Helene Olafsen of Norway had to make do with third.

Britain had representation in the form Zoe Gillings in the latter stages however she could only place fourth in the small final for tenth overall having finished seventh in 2011.

Meanwhile Pullin ensured a successful defence of the world title he won for the first time in 2011 by beating off competition from five European rivals in the six-strong big final.

Pullin edged out American duo Seth Wescott and Nate Holland in 2011 but there was nothing but Europeans to be seen with Markus Schairer claiming silver and Stian Sivertzen bronze.

Schairer won gold in 2009 before Pullin's dominance with France's Pierre Vaultier fourth, Russia's Andrey Boldykov fifth and Austria's Alessandro Haemmerle sixth.

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