Sport Ben Tudhope awarded Crystal Globe after claiming another snowboard cross Para title
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Ben Tudhope awarded Crystal Globe after claiming another snowboard cross Para title

Australian snowboarder Ben Tudhope will head to the Beijing Winter Paralmpics in red-hot form. Photo: EPA/OIS
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Beijing 2022 medal hope Ben Tudhope has maintained his red-hot run into his third Paralympics, claiming a fourth-straight World Cup gold medal and with it, the Crystal Globe as the overall para snowboard season champion.

Tudhope claimed back-to-back gold-medal wins at the Big White snowboard cross World Cup in Canada, adding to his two gold medals at the Klövsjö World Cups in Sweden and silver and bronze at January’s Para Snow Sports World Championships in Norway.

In the process, he claimed the SB-LL2 snowboard cross Crystal Globe as the 2021-22 season champion, along with the overall Crystal Globe as the most successful para snowboard athlete across all disciplines.

The 22-year-old will now head to Beijing, where he is aiming to secure his first Paralympic medal on his third attempt, as the No.1-ranked rider in the SB-LL2 class.

“Our goal this year was never for the overall Crystal Globe. It was never in my mind,” Tudhope said.

“I knew that I had a good chance in the boarder cross after Sweden, but it never occurred to me that the overall (title) was in contention for me because we missed two out of the five World Cup events.

“I am kind of taken aback and really (stoked) to win the overall title and it just shows the progression I’ve had this year.

“It’s taken a really big effort from everyone on the team to get to where we are today and it shows that our training is paying off and that the competition experience I’m getting is really good, especially heading into Beijing, it has definitely given me a massive confidence boost.”

Tudhope, who was born with cerebral palsy, previously won the overall Crystal Globe in the 2019-20 season.

He will now head to Ruka, Finland for his final preparations for Beijing, where he is Australia’s youngest team member and sole snowboarder.

-AAP