February 16, 2006
Hard luck for Anderson
PAT GRIER -- Sun Media
Jasey-Jay Anderson of Val-Martin, Que. makes a jump during his 1st qualfication run at the men's snowboard-cross at the Winter Olympic Games in Bardonecchia, Italy on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006.(CP PHOTO/COC/Jonathan Hayward)

TURIN, Italy -- Disaster struck Canada's Jasey-Jay Anderson this morning when he was bumped off course and disqualified during the semi-finals of the men's snowboard cross in Bardonecchia, just north off Turin.

The 30-year-old from Mont-Tremblant, Que., wound up crossing the finish line second after two other riders fell, but was eliminated after officials reviewed the race.

Shortly after the start, Anderson made contact with Spain's Jordi Font, causing him to miss a gate.

"I tried to get my board over the stubby (gate),"Anderson told Sun Media's Eric Francis, "and it didn't go over.

"I thought it did, but ..."

Anderson launched a protest, but was turned down.

"It's what I expected," he said of the decision.

Anderson had looked a good bet to hit the podium after easily winning both his heat and quarter-final and his first-place finish in the consolation final, placing him fifth overall, was clearly of no consolation.

"As far as the disappointment, it's boarder cross," Anderson simply said. "I can walk away having done my job and doing the best I could."

Seth Westcott of the U.S. won the gold, Slovakia's Radoslav Zidek took silver - that country's first Olympic medal of any kind since gaining independence in 1993 - and Paul-Henri Delerue of France won bronze.

The snowboard cross is making its Olympic debut. After being ranked by individual time trials, competitors then race in groups of four down the 900-metre course featuring banked turns and jumps, the top two in each advancing to the next round. It's a first past the post event as race times don't matter and contact is not unusual.

Anderson came into the Games second in this season's World Cup rankings and had a win on Dec. 9 in Whistler, B.C.

Olympic heartbreak is nothing new to Anderson. He finished 16thh in the giant slalom in 1998 in Nagano and was a shocking 29th in the parallel giant slalom in Salt Lake City four years ago.

Close to quitting the sport, Anderson was rejuvenated when he hooked up with Toronto board designer Bruce Varsava, who built the Coiler board he rides.

At the 2005 world championships in Whistler, he won both the parallel giant slalom and the giant slalom.

Three other Canadians were entered. Francois Boivin of Jonquire, Que., was eliminated in the quarter-finals, while Vernon B.C.'s Drew Neilson and Tom Velisek finished third in their heats.






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