Trio crossed out of race for gold

WINTER OLYMPICS: Australia's hopes of collecting its first gold of the Sochi Winter Games came to a thudding halt last night.

The three Aussies competing in the men's snowboard cross, including two-time world champion Alex "Chumpy" Pullin, all failed to make the final.

Both Pullin and Jarryd Hughes crashed in their respective quarter-finals, suffering falls before finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

Cameron Bolton, the least heralded of the trio, reached the semi-finals, but followed his two countrymen out of the race for gold after he got caught up in a mid-race collision and missed a spot in the all-important top three to progress.