Crawford, the silver medallist at last month’s World Championships, finished second in tonight’s fourth round of this season’s World Cup tour, which was also a test event for next year’s Winter Olympic Games, but aggravated a long standing injury.
The Australian Institute of Sport / NSW Institute of Sport rider’s condition was being assessed by medical personnel tonight, however, it is believed that the injury relates to rib cage cartilage damage.
She has been dealing with the condition since the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.
Crawford, who is known for her courage and resilience on the tour, could not attend tonight’s medal ceremony, which would have been her 17th podium appearance in a stellar career.
The event started brilliantly for the Australian, with Crawford earning automatic inclusion in the final, bypassing the need to compete in the semi-finals, by finishing her qualification heat yesterday in third place.
Crawford arrived at tonight’s halfpipe, which is part of a $50 billion-plus greenfield development for the 2014 Sochi Games, in discomfort after the rib injury recurred in the qualification session.
Her first run down the halfpipe in tonight’s final saw the Perisher based rider deliver a solid performance, attracting 78 points from the judges, enough to earn her second place at the halfway mark of proceedings.
Approaching her second run for the night with more determination to press for the lead, Crawford fell early, in what appeared to be a minor mishap.
However, the slight fall immediately ended her hopes of improving her run one score.
Crawford finished second to America’s two-time Olympic medallist Kelly Clark, with Frenchwoman Sophie Rodriguez in third.
Current Olympic champion Torah Bright showed glimpses of her talent but had to settle for seventh, resulting from a mistake on both runs, while other Aussie results saw Stephanie Magiros in 23rd, Hannah Trigger in 27th and Alexandra Fitch in 31st position.
AIS / NSWIS rider, Nathan Johnstone, was eighth in the men’s final after replicating Crawford’s performance of gaining automatic inclusion into tonight’s final with the third best score in his qualification heat.
Johnstone, who went into the event with severe jetlag and a virus, was unable to complete a clean run tonight, but was encouraging with his level of difficulty and amplitude.
Japan’s Taku Hiraoka won, with Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov second and American Scott Lago third.
Australians Scott James was 13th while AIS / NSWIS athlete Kent Callister was 58th.