Team GB recorded three top-fifteen positions in the halfpipe finals at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Kuhtai today.
In the ski halfpipe Team GB flagbearer Katie Summerhayes (Sheffield) finished fifth, while Britain’s Tyler Harding placed tenth. Lewis Courtier-Jones was eighth in the snowboard halfpipe semi-finals, finishing 14th overall.
Katie Summerhayes (pictured), who recorded 55:00 in her first run and 44.75 in her second run said: “I’m so stoked with fifth place. I said I wanted to come away with a top five result, so to be able to get that is really pleasing. Just being here with this quality of competition has been great and it’s all good experience for me. It was great that my family, coaches and so many of the other Team GB athletes were here to support me – it was great to come down to the bottom of the pipe and see them waving the flag. I’m going to watch the curlers tomorrow and support everyone else now that my competition is over. It’s been such an amazing experience here at the Youth Olympics.”
Tyler Harding, who scored 62.75 in his first run and 31.25 in the second run said: “I’m a bit gutted that I didn’t get the second run right, but it’s good to be here and to get my first round down in such a massive competition, my first for Team GB and first Olympic experience. So overall i’m happy with what i’ve got, i’m happy with where I am and I’m happy with what i’ve done. This pipe was absolutely amazing so I did one of the best runs I could’ve done. Everyone else is doing such massive tricks that have hardly ever been seen before by 15 and 16 year olds. So of the best guys in the world are here, doing massive doubles, tens and twleves - crazy tricks! If I want to be up there with the best I have to start doing these tricks so it’s inspired me in that way. If they can do it, then why can’t I? I’m definitely going to go and train hard for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and get lots of experience at competitions.”
Lewis Courtier-Jones, who scored 59.75 on his first run and 41.25 on his second run said: “I’m really annoyed with myself but it happens and there’s nothing I can do about it and hopefully in future competitions I can do better. I didn’t do my first run as well as I wanted to so I tried to really step it up in the second run to try and get in to the finals but it wasn’t to be. It’s been great fun here in Innsbruck, i’ve met loads of new people, and I’ve still got the slopestyle competition to look forward to and hopefully I can do better in that. Overall the Youth Olympics has been a really good experience so far and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Team GB ice dancers Millie Paterson (Rotherham) and Edward Carstairs (Nottingham) made an assured Youth Olympic debut as they performed their short routine at the Olympiaworld Stadium and scored a personal best of 30.70 to place eleventh. They will perform their free routine on Tuesday.
Millie Paterson said: “It was really good today. We got a personal best score so we’re really pleased. We were really pumped up with the big crowd behind us in this massive stadium, which was really good. We lost it a little bit at the end, but I think we covered it up pretty well and everything else was good. We’re hoping to move up one or two places in the free routine, but we’ll just try out best. Our routine is a bit jazzy, it starts slow and speeds up a bit, the rest is a secret so you’ll just have to wait and see!”
Edward Carstairs added: “It felt good, the audience was amazing, i’ve never skated in front of anything as good as that, with all the announcements getting the crowd going. It was a good skate today and delighted to get the personal best. There were a few things that could have been better, there’s always room for improvement, but overall really happy with it. The scores show that we’re improving all the time which is great. I’m looking forward to the free skate as I enjoy it more and it’s my preferred programme.”
Meanwhile Calum Irvine (Aviemore) placed 35th in a field of 50 competitors in the biathlon 7.5km sprint at Seefeld. Irvine finished in a time of 22 minutes, 28.5 seconds. Tomorrow he will be back at Seefeld to contest the 10km pursuit. Irvine said: “My shooting let me down a lot which is a real shame because I thought I skied really well, I was right up there with the other competitors. Despite it not going as well as I would have hoped the event itself was really fun and I enjoyed myself a lot. The competition is great and the atmosphere amongst the competitors was fantastic so it feels nice to be part of and I'll be back for tomorrow's pursuit and looking to improve on today.”
Team GB’s Alpine skiers Paul Henderson (Edinburgh) and Rachelle Rogers (Hampshire) were in action in the super combined event which combines a Super G run and a slalom run. Henderson was ranked 23rd in the field of 50 after he recorded a time of 1 minute 5.89 seconds in the Super G. However he was unable to finish the slalom course and therefore does not receive an overall placing. Rogers suffered a similar fate as she was unable to finish the super G element of the event. Both athletes will now look forward to competing in the slalom and giant slalom events over the coming days.
Henderson said: ““I knew it was going to be bumpy, fast and challenging but to go even better today is a sign that I'm improving all the time against the best skiers in the world for my age group. Missing the fifth to last gate in the slalom on Sunday was of course frustrating, especially so close to the end, but these things happen when you’re pushing as hard as you can. It feels amazing to compete here though. It’s such a great experience to learn from people, race against the best skiers in the world and to put in some good results makes it even better.”
Britain’s curlers endured a tough day at the Innsbruck Exhibition Centre as they lost both of their matches. The first was a close fought 4-5 defeat to Germany, which required an extra end to separate the teams. The second game was a comprehensive 8-2 defeat by curling superpower Canada with the match ending after six ends. Team GB have the opportunity to get their campaign back on track by picking up their first victories tomorrow with matches against Japan and Italy.
Thomas Muirhead said: “In Sunday’s games we just couldn’t make the shots when we needed to, we struggled all day. The shots just kept getting away from us we were a bit loose. It was a frustrating result in the morning and then this evening Canada were very strong. Every little mistake they just punished us but we are learning and now we will have to make changes, we need to win every game from now on so it’s going to be tough. But tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start and we will approach in that mindset and just take it from there."