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RAMONA — Colby Raha didn’t think he’d be able to defend his Moto X Quarterpipe High Air title at the summer X Games this year.

He fractured his pelvis after landing on top of a dirt ramp in October while attempting a long-distance jump and was off his feet for four months.

But the 27-year-old Palmdale resident not only made it to the starting line on Thursday evening, he notched the highest jump of the event on his last try to defend his title.

Raha went 49 feet to surpass event host Axell Hodges by 12 inches and win the last and most exciting event of the day.

“I practiced a lot coming into this because I knew how high Axxell was going. I thought I gave it my best in the early runs,” Raha said. “I thought I went really high (on the last jump too), and then I pulled the landing off and that’s what it took.”

Other than that, it was a distinctly international day of competition with athletes from Australia, Belgium and Poland also winning gold medals.

Julien Vanstippen of Ophain, Belgium took first in the MOTO X Best Whip competition for his first X Games gold medal.

Vanstippen not only impressed the judges, but he wowed his fellow competitors in the start area.

They gasped as he swung his KTM dirt bike 180 degrees while high in midair, pointing the front wheel toward the ground before swinging the bike back for a clean landing.

“It was crazy,” Vanstippen said. “It was not really easy because everyone was shredding, so I gave my best on the last one and it worked, so I’m really happy.”

Vanstippen was a motocross racer in Belgium until switching to freestyle in 2016. He made his X Games debut in Japan in April and finished third in the Best Whip.

Hodges, who hosted the Moto X events for the second year in a row on his Eastern San Diego County property, won the Moto X 110s and finished second in the Best Whip.

Rob Adelberg of Australia won gold in both Moto X Freestyle and Best Trick.

He won the best trick last year and the freestyle in 2019.

The wins give Adelberg 15 medals at the X Games, moving him into a tie with Jarryd McNeil for the most by an Australian athlete.

McNeil did not medal in either of his two events on Thursday.

Adelberg came into the day tied with Jackson Strong for the third-most medals among Aussies, but Strong was injured in a crash during his first run in the freestyle event and did not take his second.

Harry Bink of Australia also crashed on his first run in freestyle and did not attempt a second.

Luc Ackermann of Germany was second in the freestyle and Josh Sheehan of Australia was third.

Adelberg came back and won the best trick with a double backflip.

Sheehan was second and Ackerman finished third.

In the lone non-Moto X event of the day, Dawid Godziek of Poland won the BMX Dirt competition.

Jaie Toohey of Australia moved into second on his final run of the day and earned his second medal of the week after taking third in the BMX MegaPark on Wednesday.

Logan Martin of Australia also saved his best run for last and moved into third, overtaking Canadian Mike Varga for the final medal.

Pat Casey, the defending champion in the event, finished fifth.

Casey, a Placentia native who now lives in Riverside, competed in his fourth event in two days, the Moto X 110s, but had a hard crash at the bottom of the quarterpipe ramp on his mini-sized dirt back.

Casey tried to get to his feet on his own but was unable to maintain his balance before being helped away by the medical team.

Casey said he’s pulling out of his final event of the X Games, the BMX park on Saturday.

X Games: Colby Raha defends Moto X Quarterpipe High Air title

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