Vaultier repeats as Olympic champion in men's snowboardcross

Pierre Vaultier, of France, celebrates after winning gold during the men's snowboard cross final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in P

Pierre Vaultier, of France, celebrates after winning gold during the men's snowboard cross final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in P

Regino Hernandez, of Spain, celebrates after his run during the men's snowboard cross semifinals at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in P

From bottom to top; Pierre Vaultier, of France, Jarryd Hughes, of Australia, Markus Schairer, of Austria, and Hanno Douschan, of Austria, runs the cou

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Pierre Vaultier of France is back atop the Olympic podium in men's snowboardcross.

Vaultier defended the title he won in Sochi four years ago on Thursday by overcoming a crash that nearly ended his chances in the semifinals. The 30-year-old Frenchman picked himself up to finish third and move on to the finals, where he led the six-man pack for most of the way down the mountain at Phoenix Snow Park.

Jarryd Hughes of Australia took silver, with Regino Hernandez of Spain earning a rare Winter Games medal for his country by taking bronze.

American teammates Nick Baumgartner and Mick Dierdorff advanced to the final but both washed out on a jump and finished well back of the leaders.

___

For more AP Olympic coverage: https://www.wintergames.ap.org