Kilner confident of beating best on road to Pyeongchang

04 November 2014 / 15:10

As the winter season dawns and Britain’s athletes take stock of their Sochi performances half-pipe snowboarder Ben Kilner admits he still has unfinished business at the Olympics.

The 26-year-old made his Olympic debut at Vancouver 2010 before heading to his second Games in Sochi with high hopes this year.

However, a 16th place finish in Heat One and failure to qualify for the semi-finals wasn’t exactly the performance Kilner was hoping for.

But Sochi’s half-pipe competition brought with it a host of surprises with America's two-time Olympic champion Shaun White conspicuously absent from the podium.

And Kilner has taken heart from the fact that the best in the business can have an off day and has no plans to call time on his Olympic career as he sets off on the road to Pyeongchang 2018.

“Once Sochi was over I found it quite hard to get my head back to reality but I certainly don’t want to finish it on that note, I’m giving it another go,” he said.

“I feel I have unfinished business when it comes to the Olympics.

“It was a hard year qualifying for Sochi. The Americans were showing true domination, the results that came out were quite surprising, obviously none of the Americans made the podium in the men’s.

“The results in Sochi makes you realise the Americans are human. It’s been a while since Shaun White has been beaten. It just shows that we can all do it and it’s just a matter of how you perform on that day.

“I think the team were all thrown off a bit by the conditions in Sochi, we all got on with it, and it’s not the end of the world. We’ll do our best to get to the next one and just enjoy all four seasons before then.”

Despite his age it is easy to think of Kilner as a veteran of the sport – narrowly missing out on qualification for Turin more than eight years ago.

Since then he has had more than a few encounters with some of the world’s best and believes that, with the support the British team is getting, he can more than hold his own.

“I was quite a lone wolf when I went to Vancouver but now there’s loads of us and it’s a great team around everyone,” he added.

“We’ve got support staff and it’s grown so much more than I ever thought so it’s great.

“There are more than a handful of competitors who I am rivalled with but mostly Americans.

“Just to name a few, the likes of Scotty Lago and Louie Vito. They are all up there and they are very good snowboarders.

“There have been a few finals which I have been in with those guys so it’s always down to putting the run down on that particular day. If I do put my best run down I can compete with most of them.”

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