In the World Cup snowboard cross universe, 17 is a lonely number.
0.06 is even lonelier. Meryeta O’Dine knows that all too well.
She’s been haunted by 17th-place finishes while trying to qualify for her last three World Cup races dating back to January. Only the top 16 women advance to the race and that means O’Dine has been a spectator watching her Canadian teammates take their runs at the medal podium.
The 24-year-old from Prince George was obviously hoping to break that jinx this past weekend on the slopes of Secret Garden in China but that didn’t happen.
In Friday’s qualifying event on the 2022 Beijing Olympic course, O’Dine posted the 17th-quickest time, 1:30.03, just six-hundredths of a second slower than 16th-place Sofia Bellingheri of Italy, who advanced to Sunday’s race.
“Although I’m thoroughly disappointed I won’t be able to race in heats on this fun course, I am proud of my riding,” posted O’Dine, on her Facebook site.
“I’m proud of the steps I’ve taken to be the racer I am today. I am feeling stronger on course and within myself than I ever have. Just a wacky day in time trials.
“I am growing, I am strong, this is not how I intended to start the season’s placements, but I intend to keep my riding abilities to their best. I am better than today’s results, I know my efforts will pay off in the future.”
O’Dine’s Canadian teammate, Tessa Critchlow of Kelowna, was the top Canadian in Sunday’s women’s race, finishing seventh, while Audrey McManiman of St. Marie de Kildare, Que., was 12th.
Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic won the big final, with Charlotte Bankes of Great Britain second and Michaela Moioli of Italy claiming bronze.
Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria took the men’s big final over second-place Omar Visintin of France and Nick Baumgartner of the United States.
Eliot Grondin of St. Marie de Beauce, Que., was ninth.
Two other Prince George athletes, Colby Graham and Evan Bichon, were 44th and 46th respectively in the men's qualifying event.THe top-32 men advanced to the race.
The next stop on the World Cup tour is in Montafon, Austria, Dec. 9-11.