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Our Aimee gutted after wild weather leads to heavy fall

 

By James Toney

Holywood's Aimee Fuller saw her Olympic ambitions blown away as wild weather swept through Pyeongchang.

Strong cross-winds played havoc with the delayed final of the women's snowboard slopestyle event, with many questioning the decision to go ahead.

Only five of the 25 riders completed the first run without a fall and none of the competitors could boast two error-free runs.

Favourite Anna Gasser was left fuming, accusing organisers of pressurising the athletes to compete and claiming rivals were in tears at being forced to try their tricks in dangerous conditions.

Fuller finished 17th, a repeat of her performance in Sochi four years ago, but admitted the weather made it impossible to showcase the sport to a worldwide audience.

She abandoned a jump on her first run because of gusting conditions and fell heavily late in her second run.

"My insides feel on my outside and I'm absolutely devastated," she said. "That was a tough day at the office, some of the roughest conditions I've ridden in.

"It was not what I wanted, not what I expected and not what I dreamed of for my Olympic final.

"There were huge gusts of wind, my board was like a sail being ripped from under my feet.

"Some people got lucky but I didn't, if you got a drop in the wind you could get through.

"I'm happy to see everyone's in one piece. Looking at the long-range forecast this was the best day to do it but, unfortunately, it wasn't the best day for our sport.

"I don't know whether I would say it wasn't safe but it was definitely tricky."

Several other events fell victim to the windy conditions, including yesterday's women's giant slalom. But organisers say they have no concerns with plenty of reserve days in the schedule.

Fuller, Britain's sole female representative following the injury to Katie Ormerod, will now reset her sights on the big air competition, which makes its Olympic debut next week at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.

"I'm hoping that it's a little more sheltered at the big air stadium," she added. "Let's hope the wind blows out of Pyeongchang the next few days and it clears up for the British skiers and us for the big air next week."

Meanwhile, Laura Deas outshone Great Britain team-mate and reigning Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold during women's skeleton training.

Deas was second and Yarnold, who won gold at the Sochi 2014 Games, was third in the first official training run.

And Deas was fastest in the second run with Yarnold fourth quickest, results which bode well for the four-run competition that begins on Friday and concludes on Saturday.

The women's giant slalom was postponed and will now take place at Yongpyong Alpine Centre on Thursday, the same day as the men's downhill, which had to be rescheduled following high winds on Sunday.

Canada won the figure skating team event ahead of the United States and Olympic Athletes of Russia.

Canada's Mikael Kingsbury won the men's moguls and Martin Fourcade of France claimed gold in the men's 12.5km biathlon pursuit.

Holland's Irene Wust took victory in the women's 1,500m long-track speed skating for her fifth Olympic gold.

Switzerland will meet Canada in the mixed doubles curling final after semi-final victories over the Olympic Athletes from Russia and Norway respectively.

Watch Aimee compete in the big air qualifiers next Monday at 12.30am on Eurosport 1. Don't miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. Go to www.Eurosport.co.uk

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