Woods leads way in big weekend for Sochi hopefuls

19 December 2013 / 11:40

James Woods started a crucial weekend for British skiing's Olympic hopes in style at the World Cup in Copper Mountain.

The world silver medallist and defending World Cup champion, tipped as one of Team GB's top medal hopes for Sochi, qualified to Saturday's ski slopestyle final in Colorado, though team-mate Tyler Harding narrowly missed out.

And there was also disappointment for snowboarder Ben Kilner, bidding to make a second Olympic selection, and team-mate Dom Harrington, who failed to make the finals of the halfpipe event.

Britain's free skiers and snowboarders have limited opportunities remaining to secure the FIS points and world rankings they require to be considered for selection before the British Olympic Association reveal their final team for Russia next month.

And this weekend will be crucial to many ambitions.

Aimee Fuller and Katie Ormerod will compete in the qualification for the women's snowboard slopestyle final on Friday.

Anna Vincenti will look to underline her claims for a place on the team in the ski slopestyle, in absence of team-mate Katie Summerhayes, fourth at last year's World Championships, who is still recovering from a long-standing knee injury.

Elsewhere, snowboarders Jamie Nicholls, Sam Turnbull and Nate Kern all line up in Friday's men's snowboard slopestyle qualifiers.

And Rowan Cheshire, fresh from a recent seventh place at the Dew Cup in Breckenridge, will look to advance to Saturday's ski halfpipe final alongside Emma Lonsdale, while Murray Buchan and James Machon line up in the men's competition.

Emily Sarsfield, after two recent World Cup top thirty positions, will be in action at the ski cross World Cup in San Candido, Italy alongside men's team-mates Ed Drake and Pete Whelan.

Snowboarder Zoe Gillings, who is striving to make a third Olympic team, will look to improve on her recent World Cup top five finish in her specialty snowboard cross discipline.

Gillings will line up alongside fellow Brits Stephanie Gehrig and Thomas Bankes in Lake Louise.

Elsewhere, ski aerials specialist Harry Gillam and Lloyd Wallace will be getting their own Olympic experience in China, with their World Cup event staged in Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest stadium, the showpiece venue for the 2008 Summer Games.

© Sportsbeat 2013