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Our Aimee is focusing on positives after more crash woe

Hard landing: Aimee Fuller crashes during the snowboard big air event
Hard landing: Aimee Fuller crashes during the snowboard big air event
Showing off her bruised face

By Pippa Field

Aimee Fuller could only take pride and a bruised face away from an historic snowboard big air competition in Pyeongchang.

With the event making its Winter Olympics debut, the Bangor girl joined a 26-strong women's field looking to demonstrate what all the fuss was about.

In layman's terms, it's a bit like ski jumping but with additional emphasis on stomping down the biggest trick on your snowboard.

The former Sullivan Upper pupil certainly went big on her two runs in qualification but, unfortunately for the 26-year-old, the snow also came at her big.

Two runs attempted and two failed landings, including a painful face plant on her second effort. Rather than progressing through to today's final inside the top 12, Fuller placed second last with a score of just 25.00.

"I'm a bit bummed. I landed it in training. It's gutting not to land it," said Fuller, who also crashed in a wind-affected slopestyle competition earlier in the Games. "You need a bit of luck. It's a shame my luck was in practice and not when it counted.

"You had to do your biggest and best trick. If I landed, then I would have been in the final."

Pre-competition favourite Anna Gasser of Austria laid down the gauntlet with a mammoth score of 98.00 on her second effort, and the top six snowboarders all scored in the 90s.

While unable to reach the final, Fuller did concede the spectacle had been a huge success.

"I think this has been the ultimate showcase of our sport and to be a part of such a progressive qualification, it's just insane," she added. "I'm glad to know I was a part of that progression chain, but I was just unlucky.

"I'm happy with my riding, so to be a part of it makes me proud.

"The crowd is huge, I don't think I've ever seen so many people watching a female event, it's the most people I've seen in qualifying. I'm excited to watch the other girls going into the final."

Meanwhile, Elise Christie is "desperate" to overcome an ankle injury to make a final bid for Winter Olympics glory.

The 27-year-old will undergo a fitness test on her right ankle this morning to determine if she can compete in the 1,000m speed skating heats this evening following a crash last week. The event concludes on Thursday.

Scans have determined no significant injury and she was exercising on a stationary bike on Sunday in flip flops due to the swelling on her ankle. Christie trained on the ice yesterday.

Great Britain chef de mission Mike Hay said: "She's desperate. This is her last of the Games, from the three events she qualified for. I'm cautiously optimistic. She was on the ice today to see if she could put the boot on and skate around a little bit.

"She will go through a training session tomorrow. If she comes through that - and it's still a big if - then she will compete.

"Any time you've got an ankle injury and you're putting that much pressure on it in a racing situation, it's hard. She needs to come through a much tougher training session tomorrow and we'll see the reaction after that."

Hay made it clear the final decision would be Christie's and there would be no one pushing her as Britain chase a record fifth medal of the Games.

"The welfare of the athlete is more important than chasing any medal target," Hay added.

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