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Torah Bright eyes Olympic medal

By AAP .
11 February 2014 11:51PM EST

COMPLAINTS about the halfpipe will count for little when Torah Bright attempts to become Australia's first dual Winter Olympics gold medallist on Wednesday night.

The ragged finish to the 'pipe has hogged the headlines ahead of the signature event with Bright and brother/coach Ben, as well as a raft of international stars, unhappy with its build.

But as medals go on the line, attention will surely turn to performance for Australia's best-known winter sports star.

Bright was slightly disappointing with her seventh place in slopestyle but will certainly be eyeing off a medal to add to her Vancouver gold.

She won the Dew Tour event in December among a quality field, suggesting that when on her game, she can still juggle competing in three disciplines with success.

The snowboard cross event is still to come but Bright said regardless of the results across the three, there would be no regrets.

"Benny's whole mentality with doing these three events is that you may crash and burn in all three but it's about becoming a better snowboarder and it's about creating a better connection to your snowboard," Bright said before the Games.

"Time on snow, no matter what you are doing, is invaluable. And it is proving to be right in my opinion.

"I'm spending that much time on my snowboard that I am more confident than ever as well."

If some of the more technical competitors struggle in the 'pipe, it could play into the hands of another Australian, Holly Crawford, the 2011 world champion.

The 30 year-old might have fewer tricks in her kit bag than Bright and the top Americans but she likes to get big air and can lay down the kind of score to put her on the podium.

She did just that in the test event here last year, locking in silver in her first run before damaging her ribs in the second.

"For all intents and purposes, for me I am in pretty good shape," she said after arriving in Sochi.

"I like the 'pipe here. It's fast and it's big so hopefully it will play to my advantage."

As always, the Americans figure strongly for top honours.

Age is proving to be little barrier for veteran Kelly Clark, 30, the Salt Lake City Games gold medallist of 12 years ago, who last month took out her fourth consecutive X Games halfpipe title.

Hannah Teter, the Turin gold medallist of 2006 and 17-year-old Arielle Gold, the 2013 world champion, are also well in the medal picture.

Hannah Trigger and Stephanie Magiros round out the Australian women's contingent.

 

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