It may seem strange to think of Malaga athletes competing in winter sports, but the Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships, ongoing in the Sierra Nevada, has brought success for Mijas-based Regino Hernández who picked up silver in the team snowboard cross trial on Monday.
The 25-year-old, alongside Lucas Eguibar, tackled conditions of -5 degrees to qualify from the quarters finals in style. In the semis, they lined up against the north American duo of Kearney and Baumgartner, Austrians Pachner and Luefner and the French pair Bozzolo and Vaultier. Hernández came first in his run while Eguibar, from Gipuzkoa, maintained the position.
In the final, the Spaniards came up against the aforementioned Kearney and Baumgartner, Hill and Robanske (Canada), and Schairer and Haemerle (Austria).
Hernández, in his run, came close to stealing first place but lost out marginally to Kearney. For his part, Eguibar started much slower and was initially in third place. However, on the final sprint he was able to climb a position but the veteran Baumgartner was too hard to catch.
For Hernández, silver was the perfect compensation for what happened on Sunday when a fall cost him in the individual trial after scoring the third best time in qualification. "Today we showed that what happened on Sunday was just bad luck," he said, admitting that the disappointment had left him "pissed off".
This is a career high for Hernández who insists he will continue to fight for every contest "as if it were the last".
Sixth medal for Spain
With this medal, and silver for Eguibar on Sunday, it takes Spain's medal tally in snow sports world championships to six. The other four were Francisco Fernández Ochoa's gold in St Moritz (Switzerland, 1974), the gold and silver picked up by Johann Mühlegg, before the Salt Lake City doping scandal, at Lahti (Finland, 2009) and the halfpipe silver in Kreischberg (Austria, 2014) for Queralt Castellet.