Irish teen playing it cool over final slip
Published 15/02/2014 | 01:30
SNOW near and yet snow far... Ireland's teenage snowboarding prodigy, Seamus O'Connor, came agonisingly close to booking himself a place in the Winter Olympics halfpipe final.
US-born O'Connor (16) came ninth in his semi-final with an excellent 70.25 in his second run, but it wasn't enough to secure a place in the finals in Sochi.
Had he qualified, he would have been the second-youngest competitor in the final after Japanese 15-year-old Ayumu Hirano.
The Utah native had booked his semi-final place by finishing 13th in his heat. O'Connor, who can compete for Ireland through his grandparents, was fourth after the first run, in spite of suffering a slip, with a score of 54.00.
He looked on course for a higher score, but failed to land his final trick properly, which marked him down, and he was gradually overhauled. "It was my hope that, if I had landed that run, I could have made it [to the final]," O'Connor said.
"Originally, my goal was to make it to the semi-finals and I got in there.
"Once I was here, I was kind of wanting more, wanting to land my run, which I was hoping would put me through to the final.
"Just that I made it here is great, but it would have been nice to pass through again."
Seamus is the star of Ireland's five-person team who are all based abroad.