sport

Chapuis leads home charge

Jean Frederic Chapuis added Winter Olympics gold to his world title in the men's ski cross as France claimed a clean sweep of the podium.

Chapuis, who triumphed at the world championship in Voss, Norway last year, led the way in a dramatic final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, with Arnaud Bovolenta settling for silver and Jonathan Midol earning bronze despite crashing over the finish line after landing awkwardly on the final jump.

Brady Leman of Canada was the only non-Frenchman in the final, but his hopes of a medal were undone after falling midway through the race.

It is the first time France have completed a one-two-three at the Winter Games although the country did sweep the gymnastics artistic sidehorse vault for men in 1924 at the Summer Olympics.

"With the two other French guys it's like a dream,'' Chapuis said.

"Yesterday, I was joking with the guys saying that all three on the podium would be good and it happened. It's perfect.

"We didnt have a strategy. There are three places for the podium, there is one loser place.

"We are friends off the slopes, but on the slopes we are enemies so I tried to make my best.''

It was a deserved victory for Chapuis, who topped the standings in each of his three races before the final.

"My goal was to make the podium,'' he added. "I worked really hard throughout the summer. I had a good start to the season, after I was a little bit tired and the rest was not so good.

"But I trained again, I came back here with good form and I made it."

Defending champion Michael Schmid pulled out shortly before the event due to injury, while World Cup leader Victor Oehling Norberg was knocked out early on after finishing third in his quarter-final.