Pollard pleased with first games

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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Bunbury’s Sean Pollard has described his first Paralympics experience as a “crazy journey” after finishing agonisingly close to qualifying for the SB UL Snowboard Cross quarter finals in PyeongChang today.

The 26-year-old finished 0.13 of a second behind Italian Jacopo Luchini in the one-eighth final at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre.

“It is rad, I am so stoked to have my family here supporting me and seeing what I do,” Pollard said after the race.

“It was a good show for them.”

Despite falling short, Pollard was not disappointed with his efforts.

“It was super close right at the end,” he said.

“I was a bit slow at the start, but I chased him (Luchini) down. It was a really fun race.

“I played it safe through the top section because it is a bit tricky through there and then stepped on it during the bottom section (of the course).

“I was aiming for a top eight finish,” Pollard said.

“But I was happy with how today went.

“I will be going into the banked slalom with confidence I gained from today.”

Pollard said he needed to practice more and look into his prosthetics to get more speed, especially from his start.

He said there was still room for improvement in his racing.

“I have only been snowboarding for three years now,” he said.

Pollard competed in his first world cup event in November 2016 and in less than 18 months has gone to the pinnacle of para-snowboarding.

He said the past few years had been “tough”.

“I am really happy to be on the big stage and to try to show what I can do,” he said.

Pollard praised his family and girlfriend for their support.

“All my family and my mates back at home always get around me,” he said.

“I am just stoked with the support.”

He said he was disappointed with how the start section was set out.

“I was hoping it was steeper,” he said.

Pollard said the attention did not sit too well with him, but it was nice to get recognition.

He said he was now looking forward to Friday’s banked slalom event.

“It kind of evens the field up a bit with my starts, because there is not a gate that I have to jump over,” he said.

Pollard said he would spend the next few days preparing for his next event.

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