SNOWBOARD CROSS: Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin, Jarryd Hughes and Cam Bolton will have to wait another day to compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, after bad weather forced the men's Snowboard Cross competition to be cancelled for the day.
Games organisers have rescheduled the event to start at 10.30am (5.30pm AEDT) on Tuesday. The format will be reduced to not include the two seeding runs. The competition will now begin with the 1/8 final at 10:30 with athletes seeded according to their FIS points. Australian focussed head-to-head preview here>>>
Rosa Khutor Extreme Park was blanketed in a thick white fog all morning. The finish line has now become visible, but the top of the course is still shrouded.
None of the 39 competitors, including the three Australians, were even able to warm-up, with the official training postponed as well.
“I think everyone was pretty pumped to go this morning but as we saw the weather wasn't letting up at all which was unfortunate so it is really out of control for everyone involved even the organisers,” said Pullin.
“They did everything they could. They even turned the snow guns to blow it away on which was pretty funny.”
Following an inspection run that was on the outside of the course, Pullin believed that the conditions weren't suitable for racing.
“At that point the visibility was terrible. We really couldn’t see anything, we couldn’t see the last jump so we would have landed out of the last turn and not know where to go at absolutely full speed.
“So at the time it was an obvious decision but now we are seeing the conditions lift and we certainly could have raced now but we got to that point where it would have run overtime."
Hughes believed that the sunny Sochi conditions that featured throughout the opening week of the 2014 Games weren't going to last for his event.
"I called it as soon as I got here - that there would be bad weather on the day I race. It can't stay sunny the whole time for that long," Hughes said.
The athletes returned to the Village soon after the race was postponed and will now focus on preparing for tomorrow's competition.
“I just go back home tonight, get a good sleep, rest up and wait to hear the news and stay focused on what I’m here to do," added a determined Pullin.
Australian snowboard coach Ben Wordsworth said the postponement will not impact his athletes.
“The boys remained positive and focused throughout the day and were ready to race at a moment’s notice," Wordsworth said.
“They are now going through the same routine today as they did yesterday, are all in a very positive frame of mind and are looking forward to getting out there”.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) and competition organisers cancelled the two seeding runs and had hoped the 1/8 finals could start at 1.30pm (8.30pm AEDT) but at 2pm (9pm) made the decision to postpone the event.
Fog has also interfered with the Biathlon competition on the opposite side of the Krasnaya Polyana valley. The men's 15km mass start was due to be held on Sunday, but has been postponed for a fourth time and is now scheduled to begin on Tuesday at a time to be confirmed.