Australian teenage snowboarder Scotty James has failed to reach the final of the men’s slopestyle on the opening day of competition at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
James landed a triple cork on his first run in this morning’s semi-finals to score 77.25 and be ranked sixth overall heading into the second round.
But he tanked at the top of his second run, meaning he missed out on one of the four spots available heading into this afternoon’s final.
“I had to step it up in that top section to get through,” James said. “I thought my score should’ve been higher in my first run, but oh well. I’m happy overall. I came here to do exactly what I did. There’s no sad faces on me today. I’m super happy.”
James refused to blame a rib injury he carried into competition.
On Thursday, he crashed badly in qualification and later said sheepishly he had bruised his “man parts”.
“I’m a little bit injured in my chest,” he said. “We sat down last night and we thought I might not ride tomorrow and sit it out and wait for the pipe. But there was no way I wasn’t going to ride today. I wanted to come out here and put a triple down in this competition, so I’m super stoked.”
The 19-year-old will now concentrate on his preferred event of halfpipe, which starts on Tuesday.
“I said to my coach at the top that I needed a ‘land’ today for confidence for the pipe,” James said. “To come out and land the run I wanted to do. All season, I’ve set all these goal for myself. So far I’ve achieved them all. My confidence is very high for pipe. I’m going to go out in the pipe and really enjoy it.”
Great Britain’s Billy Morgan (90.75) was the highest ranked rider in today’s semi-finals, with Canadian favourite Mark McMorris ensuring his place in the final with a score of 89.25 on his second run.
Later on Saturday at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, Australians Britteny Cox, Nicola Parks and Taylah O’Neill will be looking to progress to the medal rounds in the women’s moguls.
The story Sochi Olympics: Scotty James misses snowboarding slopestyle final first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.