PyeongChang 2018 Roundup: Day Three

Published 12 February 2018

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High winds caused havoc for Team GB athletes in PyeongChang last night, severely affecting or outright cancelling events they were involved in.

The winds had already put pay to Saturday’s qualifying event for the women’s slopestyle snowboarding, with all competitors progressing directly to this morning’s final. Only one of the 25 riders avoided a fall in the first run due to the 50kph gusts and Team GB’s Aimee Fuller fell heavily on her second run and had to settle for 17th place.

In a discipline that calls for great precision, the conditions were always going to make a difference. Speaking after her event, Fuller said: “Conditions today were definitely a challenge. It was for sure not what I wanted, not what I expected, not what I dreamed of for my Olympic final. But it is what it is.

“There were huge gusts of wind. I've decided to call it the PyeongChang gust. Some riders were very lucky. If you got a drop in the wind you could get through and have a cruisy run. 

"In general, I think for the most part everyone struggled. And I'm happy to see everyone's in one piece.”

Fuller will be back in action in the Big Air on Saturday.

Another British athlete, Alex Tilley’s schedule was also disrupted when the women’s giant slalom was postponed until Thursday due to the weather.

There were promising performances by Team GB in the training runs for the skeleton overnight. Laura Deas, who graduated through UK Sport's Girls4Gold Talent ID programme in 2008, was quickest in the field in her second training run, with Sochi gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold third and fourth fastest in her two runs. The women’s skeleton event will take place on Friday and Saturday.

In the men’s event, Dom Parsons recorded the fastest time of anyone in his second training run, in which Jerry Rice was eight quickest.

Looking back over the weekend, Team GB were in the thick of the action, with details as follows.

Christie keeps cool to cruise through to quarters

Current world champion in women’s short track speed skating, Elise Christie led from the front in her 500m heat to qualify for Tuesday’s quarter-finals. Her time, a new Olympic record, bolstered her confidence that she can win her first Olympic medal.

Also in the 500m women’s event, Charlotte Gilmartin collided with two competitors to crash out. Favouring the longer events, and still to compete in the 1,000m and 1,500m, she won’t be too disheartened. Kathryn Thomson finished third in her heat.

In the men’s slopestyle snowboarding, Jamie Nicholls performed well in his first run, scoring 71 points, though a fall on the second run left him in eighth in his qualifying group, meaning he missed out on a place in the final.

Fellow boarder Billy Morgan ended tenth in his group, with twenty-year-old Rowan Coultas finishing in 18th. Springing a surprise, the event was won by seventeen-year-old US competitor Red Gerard to give America their first gold.

Amanda Lightfoot finished 67th in the biathlon 7.5km sprint, marking an improvement on her performance at Sochi. Annika Taylor was 60th on her Olympic debut in the Ladies 7.5km + 7.5km skiathlon.

Musgrave breaks new ground in cross country

Andrew Musgrave produced Briton’s best-ever cross-country skiing performance, with a seventh place finish in the Men’s 15km + 15km skiathlon. The Scot had moved into second – and the medal positions – with 5km to go, but was delighted with his final position.

It makes him a strong medal-hope in his favoured event, the 15km freestyle, on Friday.

In the luge, Adam Rosen lay 23rd after his third run, with only the top 20 continuing to a fourth and final run. Twenty-year-old Rupert Staudinger was in 33rd position at the same point.

Monday’s evening session in PyeongChang is Team GB free. Looking ahead to Tuesday, all eyes will be on Elise Christie in the 500m short track speed skating, with the quarter-finals scheduled for a 10am start. 

Tuesday’s action

Monday’s evening session in PyeongChang iss Team GB free, but looking ahead to Tuesday, all eyes will be on Elise Christie in the 500m short track speed skating. The quarter-final heats are scheduled for 10am, with the two semi-finals starting at 11.11am and the final at 12.07pm.

Fellow short-track skaters Farrell Treacy and Joshua Cheetham also compete in the morning, in men’s 1,000m qualifying.

In cross-country skiing, Andrew Young takes part in men’s sprint classic qualification, the 26-year-old having gained experience at the last two Winter Olympics.  

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