Eastern Europeans snowboard cross champs

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Eastern European speedsters flew past other hopefuls in the snowboard cross at the Junior World Championships yesterday. 

Sixty-six elite riders tackled the gruelling Cardrona course – featuring two towering hips, a long fly-over table and whoops section – on day two of the FIS Snowboard and Freestyle champs. 

Russian Nikolay Olyunin, 19, took out the world title ahead of Roger Carver, 20, and his American teammate Alex Tuttle, 19 – but the young winner wished he was closer to his homeland. 

“I was very nervous and the visibility was bad but it’s an amazing feeling,” Olyunin says. 

“I just wish I wasn’t so far from home so I could celebrate with my parents.” 

Gusty Eva Samkova, 17, from the Czech Republic managed to narrowly sneak past American Faye Gulini, 18, on the last bank to claim gold in the women’s race. 

“It was a very close race and I’m just so happy,” Samkova says. 

The action continues until August 31, with the first freestyle ski slopestyle event kicking off at Snow Park this morning.