Team GB flagbearer Katie Summerhayes (Sheffield) put in an impressive performance in the ski halfpipe qualification at Kuhtai to secure her place in Sunday’s final with the fifth highest score of 55.50 in her first run. She followed up with a consistent second run score of 54.75.
Summerhayes said: “I'm really pleased with how my two runs went today. It’s a great feeling to be out representing Great Britain and to be in the final is a dream come true. The competition here is great, all the skiers are so good, but the atmosphere is so nice, we’re all friends and we all ski better as a result. All my family and some of my old coaches were up in the crowd supporting me and to see so many GB flags waving was a great feeling. Now I’ll get a good night’s sleep and prepare for tomorrow where hopefully I can get on the podium with a bit of improvement. There are things for me to work on.”
In the men’s ski halfpipe competition Team GB’s Tyler Harding (Yorkshire) reached tomorrow’s semi-final by finishing 8th with a best run of 63.50. His first run was 59.25.
Harding said: “I'm really pleased, I got both my runs down so I can’t complain at all. I pumped a lot in the second run, tried to make the whole run bigger with better grabs and I'm so happy that it all came off. The pipe is amazing, it couldn’t be any more perfect and with such strong competition it’s a real pleasure to be here. It’s a great feeling to be representing Team GB and I can’t wait for the final. It’s all there for the taking and now I'm there so who knows. I want to try and put an extra bit in for the final, get higher up the course and really go all out.”
Earlier in the snowboard halfpipe Britain’s Lewis Courtier-Jones (Coventry) qualified for the semi-final when he finished seventh in his heat with a score of 60.00 on his second run after a first run of 46.75.
Courtier-Jones, who had previously been out of action since November with a broken wrist said: “There was a bit of pressure on me so I'm delighted to have landed my run. The pipe is amazing, definitely one of the best that I have ridden and it feels extra special to me because I haven’t been in a pipe properly since July. But the wrist was fine and I just enjoyed it so much out there, one of my favourite songs, Goldust by DJ Fresh, came on just when I dropped in so I was pumped and I landed it great. It’s really cool to have made the semis and for me now the plan is to try to have a good first run so as to not leave myself so much to do. If I've already had a solid first run then I can try some cool new stuff in the second one when there’s less pressure on me.”
Meanwhile in the Alpine skiing at Patscherkofel Team GB’s Paul Henderson (Edinburgh) and Rachelle Rogers (Hampshire, pictured) finished 17th and 24th respectively in the men’s and women’s Super G event. Henderson recorded a time of 1 min 06.97 seconds, finishing +2.52 seconds behind the winner Adam Lamhamedi. Rogers crossed the line in a time of 1 min 11.05 seconds, +5.27 seconds behind the winner Estelle Alphand of France. Both skiers compete again tomorrow in the Super Combined event.
Henderson said:”I was quite happy, my goal was top-15 and I gave it everything I had. I left everything out on the slope. I knew it was going to be bumpy, fast and challenging. I felt good at the top and was going fast but made a mistake in the middle section and was a bit tentative at the bottom but I gave it my all. It feels amazing to compete here. It’s such a great experience to learn from people, race against the best skiers in the world and to put in a good result makes it even better.”
Rogers said: “I’m really happy that I’ve made it down my first run in the Youth Olympics. I was quite nervous before the race but once I was on the start line I was ready to go. I wanted to finish in the top-30 so 24th is really great. Super G is my weakest discipline so today was really about building my confidence and getting used to the piste for my stronger events. I would say my strongest event is the slalom which is my last event here, so I’m hoping to save my best for last!”
Team GB’s mixed curling team of Duncan Menzies (Arbroath), Angharad Ward (Tonbridge), Thomas Muirhead (Perthshire) and Rachel Hannen (Hamilton) had to wait to make their Youth Olympic debuts after their match against hosts Austria was rescheduled to Tuesday following a fault with the ice machine early this morning. In the afternoon they faced a strong Sweden team and never recovered from going four behind in the first end. Despite mounting a sustained comeback and winning the next two ends, they ultimately lost 6-4 at the conclusion of the eight end match.
Muirhead said: “We’re disappointed to lose but we actually played really well as a team and it was a great match. The Sweden skip played an excellent shot to get four in the first end. We dominated the second half but were just a little bit unlucky in the first end and gave ourselves too much to do. There was a lot of support here for us and great noise. We’re looking forward to our matches tomorrow and can take a lot of positives from playing well in this one.”