PyeongChang Today: Morgan bags historic big air bronze
Winter Sports

PyeongChang Today: Morgan bags historic big air bronze

24 February 2018 / 15:42

Bronze for Billy Morgan in the snowboard big air means PyeongChang 2018 is officially Team GB's most successful Olympic Winter Games.

  • Snowboarder Billy Morgan becomes Britain's first male medallist on snow with big air bronze – Team GB's fifth medal of the Games

  • Team GB women's curling rink miss out on bronze after losing 5-3 to Japan

  • The quartet of Dave Ryding, Laurie Taylor, Charlie Guest and Alex Tilley reach the quarter-finals of the first ever Olympic alpine skiing team event

  • Cross-country skiers Andrew Musgrave and Callum Smith finish 37th and 54th respectively in the men's 50km mass start classic

  • Great Britain's bobsleigh crews are 17th and 18th at the half-way stage of the four-man competition

Click here to read more about Team GB's history-making medallists 

Snowboarding

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Billy Morgan laid it all on the line and came away with a historic bronze in the snowboard big air final.

Morgan, who qualified sixth for the final, fell on his first attempt but was all smiles after nailing his second two attempts.

That included a trick he'd never completed before in competition - a front-side 14 triple with mute and tail-grab- to become the first British man to win an Olympic medal on snow.

He faced a nervous wait though with another ten riders to come before his medal was confirmed, with plenty of celebrations from his watching teammates when it was.

“I’m 28 years old and I’ve maxed the limit of what my body can be scared about,” he said.

“It’s the best feeling, the pay off after you do something you are scared about and you land on your feet, that’s why we do this.

“For that last trick I pushed it all the fear to one side, I was like even if I completely wreck myself it doesn't matter, I'm just going to go and do it.

“Normally I'm just worried but I went out there to send it for the boys.

“It’s great it means so much for the whole team, they’re all stoked. I think there were a few tears actually. I don’t think I’ve seen any of them cry before. It’s weird isn’t it?

“I didn't think I could win a medal, it’s just blown my mind.”

Click here to read more about Morgan's big air bronze 

Curling

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Skip Eve Muirhead admitted her rink's bronze medal defeat to Japan would take some getting over but backed her team to recover.

Team Muirhead were looking to secure their second successive Olympic bronze medal when they took on Japan.

It proved to be a tight and attritional game which went down to the tenth end, with Muirhead playing a shot for two and the win.

However she was unable to execute it with Japan instead taking the steal for one and a 5-3 win.

“The shot was there for the game and as a skip you're going to try to play that shot to win. We win as a team, we lose as a team,” she said.

“As skip, it's me that misses the shot, but it's a full-on team effort out there. Any other day I guarantee that shot would've come off. And for this week we've just been the wrong side of the inch.

“Every game you lose is hard. This time around it is very hard. It's really difficult to reflect on it just now.

“We've still got quite a few tournaments left. We've got our world play-off when we get home and a couple of grand slam events as well.

“We've got to be straight back into it. That's sport. I love curling. That's why I do it.”

Muirhead's sentiments were backed up by vice-skip Anna Sloan who insisted they could still hold their heads up high.

“In an Olympic Games, they always say that fourth place is the worst place to be. It's raw and it's hurting right now,” she said.

“We gave it our all out there to be honest, we couldn't have done anymore. As much as the result didn't go our way, that's sport.

“We went out there with pride and we're going to come away with pride for the way we have conducted ourselves, the way we have trained, the way we've tried to get the best out of each other throughout not just the Olympic Games but also the four years that have been leading up to this moment.”

Alpine skiing

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Dave Ryding believes Britain proved themselves a force to be reckoned with on the ski slopes of PyeongChang.

Two days after registering the nation's best Olympic alpine skiing result in 30 years with ninth in the men's slalom, Ryding was back on the slopes for the first-ever alpine team event.

Featuring head-to-head racing over a shortened parallel slalom course with giant slalom gates, the event sees two women and two men from each country face off against each other with one point recorded for each victory.

Great Britain, made up of Ryding, Laurie Taylor, Charlie Guest and Alex Tilley, took on the USA in their last 16 clash with wins for Ryding and Tilley seeing them tie the encounter 2-2.

That brought into play the combined times rule with Britain edging it to set up a quarter-final clash with alpine skiing powerhouse Norway.

Victory in that would have meant the chance to race for a medal but this time the combined timing ruling came down against the Brits, as Norway progressed by 0.21 seconds. They eventually took bronze, with Switzerland beating Austria to the title.

“We gave the alpine super power of Norway a hell of a run for their money so we can hold our heads high. “We don't fear anyone now,” said Ryding, who will be back in World Cup slalom action in Slovenia next weekend.

“We went 2-2 with Norway and we were only two tenths off going through. I'm sure if we had the runs of our lives we could have gone 0.21 faster but of course we're going to look back at that and say it. 

“In another four years, there's no reason why we can't go further. These guys are young. I'll stick around for sure but I'm not guaranteeing I'll have a spot. We've got some good young skiers.

Cross-country skiing

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Andrew Musgrave was forced to dig deep as he rounded off his PyeongChang campaign with a 37th-place finish in the men's 50km mass start classic.

The Scot recorded Great Britain's two best ever Olympic finishes in South Korea – seventh in the 30km skiathlon and 12th in the men's team sprint alongside Andrew Young.

His 28th place in his preferred 15km free in between left him disappointed but there was one final chance to compete in the gruelling 50km event – in his unfavoured classic skate technique.

“For me if I go a little bit too hard in classic skiing then I sometimes blow up completely,” he added.

“That's pretty much what happened after about 7km and I still had another 43 to go. It wasn't exactly ideal.

“I've shown that on a good day I can be one of the best in the world. It's just making sure I have the best day on the right day.”

Teammate Callum Smith achieved his best Olympic finish from six races across Sochi and PyeongChang with 54th.

"The 50km is always an absolute grind. I started off conservative and just tried to hold it,” said Smith “I'm fairly happy with that, it's not really my main event but it's good to do.

"With 50km you never know, if you have a good start you can get a good position. It was actually my best position of the Games."

Bobsleigh

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Great Britain's bobsleigh teams are targeting improvements on the ice during tomorrow's third and fourth heats.

Pilot Lamin Deen and his team sit 17th at the half-way stage while Brad Hall's crew are one place lower in 18th.

“It happens. That's bobsleigh,” said Deen.

“You're pushing to the max and you have to get four big guys into a bobsleigh, it's tough and there will be mistakes.

“We are going to improve in the final two heats, that's all we can do, keep improving.”

Still to come tomorrow...

Britain's bobsledders will be the last athletes in action at the Games with the final two-runs of the four-man competition.

Heat three begins at 09:30 (00:30am UK time) with Team Deen 13th down the ice, followed immediately by Team Hall. Heat four begins at 11:15 (02:15am UK time).

Attention then turns towards the Closing Ceremony at 20:00 (11:00am UK time) as the curtain comes down on Team GB's most successful Winter Olympic Games ever.

Sportsbeat 2018