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Saturday February 10, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Britain's three men all fell in Olympic slopestyle qualification and failed to make the final but was Jamie Nicholls' robbed by the judges?


There was crushing disappointment and controversy for Team GB on day one of competition in Pyeongchang.

Jamie Nicholls, who was hoping to improve on his sixth place at Sochi, had a good first run but the judges awarded him only 71.56.

He knew he needed a better score to get into the final but fell on his second of two runs and finished eighth in his heat.

Only the top six from each heat go through with their best score counting.

Billy Morgan and Rowan Coultas, who went in the second heat, also crashed out.

Jamie Nicholls training PyeongchangJamie Nicholls training earlier this week - photo Jamie Nicholls





















"The whole practice and in the lead up to this, in training and stuff, I felt so confident," 24-year-old Nicholls said.

"I was actually a bit gutted about my first run score to be honest. I was thinking mid 70s which was what I was hoping for, judging on what some of the other guys did.

"I thought my top section was really strong but obviously it wasn't to be."

Nicholls' first run score prompted the BBC's snowboard correspondent Ed Leigh, who was commentating on the competition, to suggest he'd been robbed of a place in the final.

"I think when the judges look back at this they're going to be left a little red-faced," Leigh said.

GB Park and Pipe described the judging as "suspect".

Jamie Nicholls' first run scoreSuspect?















Nicholls said he had also wanted to do well for his cousin, Katie Ormerod, who fractured her heel in training on Thursday and is out of the Games.

GB snowboard squadGB Snowboard - Rowan Coultas, Aimee Fuller, Jamie Nicholls, Katie Ormerod, Billy Morgan


















"It was obviously devastating for me when Katie hurt herself. I was really upset.

"Today I was more thinking I want to do this for Katie.

"She text me after my first run to say 'good work, keep it up.'

"I was just glad I could land my first run for all my family and friends back home, than fall twice. That's a bonus, I guess."

This picture perfectly sums up how I felt today. "Gutted" sometimes things don't go your way, but today I felt like it did, until I saw my score come in. This is competitive snowboarding and how it goes sometimes! But it only makes you stronger and want to come back and smash it even harder next time! The negatives today were out of my control but the positives were I put down a run that I was happy with and proud off in the conditions we had for my friends, fans and family back home 🇬🇧 All your messages and support have been amazing not only for me but the whole team who have had a tough old week. Congratulations to all the guys that qualified today, it was a battle and everyone smashed it! 👌 THANKS EVERYONE!! ❤ Bring on BIG AIR 🤘 J xx

A post shared by Jamie Nicholls (@jamienichollsuk) on Feb 10, 2018 at 4:04am PST

Morgan posted 56.40 on his first run, which left him 12 points off sixth place and a spot in the final.

After falling in his second run he finished 10th in his heat.

"I'm pretty gutted," he said.

"I had a really strong practice and I went in feeling good and chilled.

"On the second run I had so much headwind, there was just nothing I could do about it. I barely made it over the jump. It's just a bad roll of the dice I guess."

Morgan, who's 28,  has been suffering from a knee injury which has limited his training.

"It's been as good as I can ask for it. Having problems with my knees and then falling out of the sky on these jumps is gnarly."

20-year-old Rowan Coultas, in his first Olympics, had a best score of 23.58.

"I'm gutted. I just wanted to land a run and just be stoked on it," he said.

"I fell on a trick that I'm normally pretty strong at. I've landed it quite a few times in training but I didn't get it right.

"Coming into qualification I was really happy about my riding. My training went really well and I was just ready to do it in competition."

Rowan Coultas, Jamie Nicholls & Billy MorganBig Air next for Coultas, Morgan & Nicholls








All three snowboarders will be hoping for better luck when they compete in the snowboard big air, which takes place on 21st February.

More headlines from day one.....


GB's sole female cross-country skier in Pyeongchang, Annika Taylor, made her Olympic debut in the skiathlon.

She was part of an historic race with Norway's Marit Bjoergen becoming the most decorated female Winter Olympian of all time, her silver taking her to 11 medals.

The first gold medal of the Games was won by Sweden's Charlotte Kalla with Krista Karmakoski (Finland) claiming the bronze.

Annika TaylorAnnika Taylor

Taylor finished 60th out of 61 finishers but said she was looking forward to her next race - the 10km Free on Thursday. 

"It's such a special feeling competing at an Olympic Games and being called an Olympian," she said. "There are not that many people who get that opportunity."

Short-track speed skating

Triple world champion Elise Christie got her campaign off to a good start, qualifying for the quarter-finals as the second-fastest racer in the 500m.

The quarters, semis and final all take place on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old admitted to nerves after her disaster at Sochi four years ago when she was disqualified in all three events - the 500m, 1,000m and 1500m.

Elise ChristieElise Christie - photo Team GB

"Racing hasn't gone well recently because of injuries so I wanted to put a statement out there to say 'I'm back'," she said. "I think I've showed them that.

"I was so nervous before the race, it was like an Olympic final. I don't think I've been as nervous as that for about six years.

"This is the first time most of the British public have seen me since Sochi and I obviously have small fears of that happening again, so I think it was all related to that.

"It's just a relief and now I feel ready to focus on actually doing the skating and getting the job done."

Korea wins gold

The host nation picked up its first gold medal of the Games. 

Lim Hyo-Jun of South Korea is the new Olympic champion in the men's 1,500m short-track speed skating. 

Highlights coming up on day two....

The blue riband event of the Olympics, the men's downhill is the first of the alpine races to take place.  It starts at 2am GMT.

The men's snowboard slopestyle final kicks off at 1am GMT.

The women's snowboard slopestyle qualification starts at 4.30am GMT.

Following Katie Ormerod's injury, Team GB has just one female competitor.

Aimee Fuller is hoping to the make the final after finishing 17th at Sochi in the event that saw her teammate Jenny Jones take the bronze. 

And Team GB has two cross-country skiers in the men's skiathlon at 6.15am GMT.

Andrew Musgrave, who has had a World Cup podium this season,  is joined by Callum Smith. 

Andrew Musgrave & Callum SmithAndrew Musgrave & Callum Smith









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