Finals Brenna Huckaby v Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon | 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships

The USA’s Brenna Huckaby emerged through the foggy finish area, pumping her fists in triumph as she claimed the first gold medal offered at the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships on Saturday (4 February) in Big White, Canada.

The 21-year-old defended her snowboard-cross SB-LL1 world title, being just one of six US athletes to litter the podium on the first day of competition.

France’s reigning silver medallist Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon at first looked like she could spoil Huckaby’s gold medal hopes in the head-to-head big final.

“She had me at the start, she had probably a full board-length lead,” Huckaby said. “On the way down I was just on her tail. But my coach told me to ride my own line, so I rode my own line. And I kept accelerating, and turn seven came around, she went outside I went inside, passed her and held my own until then.

“I decided today right before I went that I was going to do this for my daughter, and to do it for my daughter and with my daughter [in mind], it’s amazing. I can’t even explain it in words.”