20th February 2018 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
British halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire finishes 7th in the Olympic final – a huge achievement after the heartbreak of Sochi and an injury-hit four years.
The 22-year-old’s performance was the highlight of the day for the GB ski team, which saw its three male halfpipe skiers fail to make the final.
Cheshire had made it to the women’s final with the ninth best score of the 12 qualifiers.
In the three-run final she moved up two places to finish seventh with 75.40 points out of a possible 100.
Gold went to Canada’s Cassie Sharpe on 95.80, silver to Marie Martinod of France and bronze to American Brita Sigourney.
Cheshire’s result comes four years she suffered a pre-competition training crash at Sochi 2014 which ruled her out of the Games.
She was knocked unconscious, suffered a broken nose and concussion and was forced to withdraw.
The 2013 Junior World Championships bronze medallist had become the first female British halfpipe skier to win a World Cup just a month before Sochi.
Another couple of head injuries over the next 18 months resulted in severe physical and mental side effects.
Cheshire suffered panic attacks and very nearly left the sport.
Her comeback has been slow and carefully managed.
She was ninth at the Olympic test event at Pyeongchang a year ago and sixth at the Freestyle World Championships in Spain in March.
But a recent ankle injury disrupted her preparation for Pyeongchang.
So it’s hardly surprising that she is delighted with her Olympic result.
“It feels amazing, I’m on top of the world at the minute,” she said.
“It was always the goal to make finals. But you never know sometimes, I could have fallen, I didn’t know if I was on form. And obviously all the girls have been training so hard.
“So it’s hard to judge sometimes if my run is going to be good enough, especially with the limited time on snow I’ve had with injuries.
“I will look back on this day with a lot of joy and happiness.”
GB had three men in the qualifiers but none made it through to Thursday’s final.
26-year-old Murray Buchan came the closest in 14th place with only 12 to progress.
Buchan had a best score of 66.00. Another 2.6 points would have seen him go through to the final.
It’s an improvement on his 17th place at Sochi where he was almost 10 points off making the final.
“I’m really pleased to land both my runs although I’m disappointed to be so close,” he said.
“I feel like my chance to make the final is gone, you never know when you’re going to get another shot so it’s disappointing.
“But I really hoped that I was going to land one of my runs with both doubles in it and I did it twice so I’m really happy with that.”
Pete Speight was 15th and Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon, who fell on both his runs, was 26th.
More news from day 11…..
GB short-track speed skater Elise Christie must have thought nothing could be worse that her experience at Sochi where she was disqualified in all three of her events.
She was wrong.
After two disastrous outings at Pyeongchang already in the 500m and 1,500m, she went in the 1,000m heats with a badly injured ankle following her fall in the 1,500m
The triple world champion crossed the line in second to qualify for Thursday’s semi-final but was then disqualified – again.
The favourite for gold leaves her second successive Winter Olympics with nothing.
Highlights coming up on day 12…
Alpine – women’s downhill
The Queen of Speed, Lindsey Vonn, is going for her second Olympic downhill title. The American was the champion at Vancouver in 2010 but missed Sochi through injury.
The 33-year-old has said it is likely to be her last Olympic downhill.
On Tuesday night South Korea time she posted this on Twitter:
Tomorrow I will push out of the starting gate in what will most likely be my last Olympic Downhill race. I’m trying to enjoy the moment as much as I can and I am thankful to share this race with such amazing teammates. I know everyone expects a lot from me, and I expect even more of myself….however there’s only one thing I can guarantee; I will give everything I have tomorrow. Count on it.
Vonn has 81 World Cup wins – an all-time women’s record and only five behind the great Swede, Ingemar Stenmark.
She finished off the podium in sixth in the super G at Pyeongchang on Saturday.
She’s since received abuse on social media by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Vonn said before the Games that she would not accept an invitation to the White House if she won a gold medal.
The women’s downhill is at 11am (2am GMT)
Snowboard big air
The men get their first chance to fly off a massive kicker in Olympic competition when the big air qualifiers get under way.
It follows the women’s qualification which took place on Monday.
Britain’s trio of Billy Morgan, Jamie Nicholls and Rowan Coultas have had a long wait to get back into action after they all crashed out of the qualifiers in the men’s slopestyle on day one of the Games.
Billy Morgan has finished inside the top 10 at World Cup level in big air on four occasions, including a podium at Mönchengladbach at the end of 2016 when he finished third.
He also finished seventh at the 2015 World Championships.
While Jamie Nicholls’ two big air World Cup top 10s both came in London when he was a teenager, he will still be targeting a trick which can land him in Saturday’s final.
He failed to land his jumps at the World Championships in Spain last year but was please with his outing at the slopestyle qualifiers last Saturday, despite not making the final.
Rowan Coultas’ first Olympic campaign will see him try to make amends after not locking down a run in slopestyle qualifying.
As a 17-year-old, Coultas was 25th at the 2015 World Championships but his best big air result came at this venue in 2016 when he finished third in his qualifying heat before earning eighth place in the final of a World Cup event.
It’s a big field so there are two heats and each rider will get two runs.
It kicks off at 9.30pm (00.30am GMT)
Cross-country – men’s team sprint
Andrew Musgrave has had an up-and-down Games so far and he will be looking to make the pendulum swing in the right direction again when he teams with Andrew Young in the team sprint.
Musgrave was disappointed not to have been in contention for a medal in the 15km after he had created history with seventh in the skiathlon on the opening weekend of competition.
The team sprint provides a great opportunity for Young – who is competing on his 26th birthday – and Musgrave, both of whom have shown form in this type of racing, and the free skate technique will suit them both.
In January, Young teamed with 21-year-old James Clugnet to finish ninth at the World Cup team sprint in Dresden.
In December, Musgrave (14th) out-qualified Young (16th) at the opening stage of the Tour de Ski in Lenzerheide to show he still has his sprinting legs.
Young went on to finish tenth in the event.
The team sprint involves each athlete skiing three legs in a relay format.
The top two teams from each heat will qualify for the final along with the next six fastest teams
The heats begin at 5.50pm (8.50am GMT), with the final at 7.30pm (10.30am GMT)
Bobsleigh – Women’s bob
The final two runs to determine the medals in the women’s bob take place with the crowdfunded British pair, Mica McNeill and Mica Moore in sixth place just 0.16 seconds off a medal position.
They had to raise £30,000 to compete on the World Cup circuit this season after their official funding was withdrawn.
Run three is at 8.40pm (11.40am GMT) and run four at 10pm (1pm GMT)
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