PyeongChang Update: Woods says fourth place 'sucks'
Freestyle Skiing

PyeongChang Update: Woods says fourth place 'sucks'

18 February 2018 / 07:22
James Woods used the only language he knows to describe his fourth place in the Olympic freestyle skiing slopestyle final - 'it sucks', he said.
 
jameswoodsolympics2018

Woods is a world and X-Games medallist but he couldn’t muscle himself onto the Olympic podium in a high-quality final he dubbed the ‘best ever’.
 
Fractions matter in slopestyle, a degree too much and the perfect run can end with your face in the snow. 
 
And the 26-year old from Sheffield admitted he was so close to putting it all together.

The result improves Woods’s fifth place in Sochi four years ago, when he was nursing a hip injury and had to hold back. 
 
Though it came as a scant consolation.

“Fourth isn't that great, it definitely sucks. Fourth place is so devastating, you're so close to the action,” he said, after finishing just 1.20 points off the podium topped by Norway’s Oyster Braaten.
 
“I can put my hand on heart and say that run, totally clean, definitely could have won and I'm proud of that. 
 
“With this depth of field, it is incredible because everyone is so, so good. You can't predict a thing. I went out there and put it all on the line and I went for broke.
 
“That final was next level. That was mega. The number of people that got in the 90s in qualification was obscene. Everyone put on a show – I couldn’t be more proud.
 
“From a seriously inside point of view that was the most incredible competition.”
Woods also praised Izzy Atkin, who won Team GB’s first-ever skiing medal with her bronze in the women’s slopestyle 24 hours earlier.
 
“Izzy skied out of her skin. She was phenomenal – and good stuff too because I blew it,” he added.
 
“Izzy came away with some hardware and that says enough. It gives everyone on the system a good name and Izzy a good bit of glory. It would definitely be a harder sell if Izzy hadn’t have medalled and I came fourth. It’s all good.”

Meanwhile, Tyler Harding admitted a mixture of pride and disappointment in his Olympic debut.

Harding missed out on the last Games in Sochi after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament and history very nearly repeated itself.

The 21-year old has been battling a knee injury and it clearly showed he nursed his way through two qualifying runs.

“I’m happy to be at the Olympics and in one piece, especially with my very dodgy knee,” he said, after finishing 29th in qualifying.

“I could only do two hours of practice, so that wasn’t really the best of me and that’s disappointing - especially as I know everyone would have been watching back home.”

Still to come

Men’s skip Kyle Smith will look to return to winning ways after Saturday’s defeat to Korea. His rink take on Italy at 8.05pm (11.05am UK time). Eve Muirhead is also back in action with Sweden their rivals at 2.05pm (5.05am).

And Brad Hall and Joel Fearon are Britain’s two-man bobsleigh team and will take part in the first two runs of their competition at 8.05pm (11.05am).

Sportsbeat 2018