PyeongChang Today: Team GB's podium stars enjoy their moment
PyeongChang 2018

PyeongChang Today: Team GB's podium stars enjoy their moment

18 February 2018 / 16:14

James Woods comes within one place of a medal in a high quality men's ski slopestyle final while Brad Hall and Joel Fearon are well placed in the bobsleigh two-man event and there's a win for Team Smith in the curling.

  • James Woods finishes fourth in the men's slopestyle final, 1.40 points off a medal with Tyler Harding also competing in the qualifying rounds
  • Team GB's men's curling rink pick up an extra-end win over Italy but there is defeat for the women, losing 8-6 to Sweden
  • Brad Hall and Joel Fearon sit in seventh position at the half-way stage of the men's two-man bobsleigh competition
  • Lizzy Yarnold, Laura Deas and Izzy Atkin all receive their medals following Saturday's history-making day for Team GB

Freestyle Skiing

James Woods struggled to hide his disappointment after just missing out on an Olympic medal.

Woods improved his fifth position in Sochi to finish fourth in the ski slopestyle final, missing out on a medal by just 1.20 points.

He did his best to accentuate the positive, having played a starring role in a high quality slopestyle final, but it was still hard to take.

“Fourth isn’t great, it’s pretty minging,” said Woods. “It’s just devastating being that close to the action, to the bright lights, it’s totally gutting right now.

“I’ve been prepping for this with only winning in mind. I believe, hand on heart, that if I’d put down my run totally clean I’d be standing here talking to you with a gold medal around my neck.

“I’m proud that I stood up under the pressure and I’ve been able to compete with the best guys in the world. I put everything on the line, I didn’t hold back and went for broke.”

He was joined in the competition by teammate Tyler Harding who battled bravely despite struggling with a knee injury.

“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.

“I’m annoyed that I couldn’t put the sort of run down that I know I can do. However, just being part of this, watching this guys, it shows what our sport is all about. Compared to the last Olympics the level is 100 times better.”


Skip Kyle Smith cut a relieved figure after he delivered the decisive final stone which secured a 7-6 final end victory over Italy.

Under severe pressure with Team GB in need of win, Smith rose to the occasion to help secure the point that finally downed the Italians.

His rink are now 3-3 and sit joint fourth in the overall standings with three games to play against Denmark, Norway and the United States.

“I didn’t have a lot of confidence and that was one of my worst games of the week but the guys did a great job to set that up for me,” he said.

“I thought about all the times I’ve thrown that shot in practice and tried to stay in the moment and get my weight right.

“It was a must win match to stay in contention with some of the other teams and a couple more wins and things will be looking really good."

Meanwhile Team GB's women's rink, led by Eve Muirhead, took gold medal favourites Sweden to an extra-end before suffering an 8-6 defeat, leaving them with three wins from six.

As Muirhead delivered Britain’s final crucial stone, the lights on the handle flashed to indicate she’d not released the rock before the red ‘hog line’ - curling’s equivalent of a no-ball and Sweden duly scored two to take the win.

"It is the first stone I think I have hogged in my life and I guess when it comes at a time like that it is horrible,” she said.

“When something like that happens, it makes it very tough to take and it’s gutting it finished that way.

"We did get the stone tested and the stone is fine so there is nothing we can do. We have to move on.”


Continued consistency is the name of the game for Brad Hall and Joel Fearon as they aim to build upon their current seventh-position ranking in the men's two-man competition.

Competing together ahead of the four-man next weekend, pilot Hall and Fearon clocked 49.37 and 49.50 on their first and second runs to finish on 1:38.87.

That is 0.48 seconds off the pace of German leaders Nico Walther and Christian Poser with Team GB debutant Hall delighted with their start so far.

“I'm very proud to take to the field of play in the two-man event,” he said. “When I first started driving four years ago, this was the aim to get to these Games now. To be finally here is amazing.

"It just felt like another race. There was a little bit more noise but I've got tunnel vision when I'm driving or pushing.

At the Olympics, it's the four runs rather than the traditional two we have at World Cups all season so you've really got to be consistent.

“That's what we've done on day one and we've got to try and do the same on day two."

Meanwhile the women's team of Mica McNeill and Mica Moore were fifth fastest in training.


Whatever decision double Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold takes on her future, continuing to inspire the next generation of Olympic stars will be high on the agenda.

Yarnold became Great Britain's most successful ever Winter Olympian when she defended the skeleton crown she won four years previously in Sochi.

Never before had a Brit won back-to-back golds and, in doing so, she bettered the medal totals of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, and Jeannette Altwegg – winners of one gold and one bronze each in figure skating.

“It's a massive honour to be Britain's most successful Winter Olympian,” said Yarnold, ahead of her medal ceremony alongside bronze medallist Laura Deas. “It was a big dream to challenge myself to defend my title straight after Sochi.

“After 2014, my most important thing was visiting schools. That’s certainly top of my list again. I certainly wouldn’t pursue celebrity status.

“My gold medal is like Frodo’s ring, getting to see the children’s faces light up. If I can be role model to them that’s the most important thing.”

What to watch out for tomorrow....

The figure skating duo of Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland will have their skates on from 10am (1am UK) as they look to impress in the short programme, while at the same time over at the Phoenix Snow Park Molly Summerhayes and Rowan Cheshire will be in freestyle skiing action in the women’s halfpipe qualification.  

At the curling, the men take on Denmark at 2.05pm (5.05am UK), while Eve Muirhead and co will tackle Switzerland in the evening’s match at 8.05pm (11.05am UK).

Aimee Fuller competes in women’s snowboard big air qualifying at 9.30am (12.30am UK) with a place in Friday’s final up for grabs.

And the two-man bobsleigh competition concludes with Brad Hall and Joel Fearon sitting in seventh at the halfway stage. Their third run starts from 8.15pm (11.15am UK). 

Sportsbeat 2018