News Headlines     |     


Sunday February 18, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Britain's James Woods put on a superb display in the ski slopestyle Olympic final but finished just out of the medals in fourth.

The 26-year-old came agonisingly close to taking Team GB's second skiing medal in Pyeongchang after Izzy Atkin won bronze in the women's slopestyle yesterday.
He was in the bronze medal position after all 12 finalists had skied the second of their three runs, with the best score out of the three counting.

He was still there in the final run with just five skiers to go.

Then the American Nick Goepper's score overhauled Woodsy's, pushing him into fourth.

Woods was the first to congratulate him. 

James Woods & Nick GoepperWoodsy congratulates Goepper

Woods got through to the final with a big best score of 90.20 out of a possible 100, but in a sign of the strength of the field, that was only the eighth highest score in qualification.

The top 12 progressed to the final.  

The first of those runs saw many of the skiers, including James Woods, fail to lay down a good score.

Woods fell on the final jump of what had looked like it would be a perfect run.

No such problem for Norway's Oystein Braaten who was awarded a massive 95.00 that was to prove unbeatable.

Woodsy's second run put him in contention.

He was pleased with it.

James WoodsJames Woods pleased with run 2

It scored 91.00 and put him into second place, though by the time all 12 finalists had gone, he was down into the bronze medal position.

James WoodsJames Woods final run 2 score

It all came down to what the skiers could do on their final run.

Woods made a small mistake and could not improve on his second run score, but still clocked up 90.00.

James WoodsJames Woods

He ended up just 1.4 points off the podium.

In a sign of the quality of the competition the top seven finalists all scored more than 85.00 points. 

Men's ski slopestyle resultsThe results

Woods finished ahead of several skiers expected to be in contention for the medals, including Switzerland's Andri Ragetlli (7th) and Gus Kenworthy of the US (12th).

"Fourth isn't that great, it definitely sucks. Fourth place is so devastating, you're so close to the action," Woods said.

"I can put my hand on heart and say that run, totally clean, definitely could have won and I'm proud of that.

"With this depth of field, it is incredible because everyone is so, so good. You can't predict a thing. I went out there and put it all on the line and I went for broke."

James WoodsJames Woods

His fourth place is one better than he achieved in Sochi when he competed with a hip injury.

He was hotly tipped to win a medal in Pyeongchang but any one of the 12 finalists was capable of winning.

GB's Tyler Harding, who was competing at his first Olympics carrying a knee injury and didn't make the final, said his teammate had "skied like a boss" in a competitive field.

Tyler HardingTyler Harding

"Even in qualifiers it was the highest level I've ever seen for freeskiing and in the finals everyone stepped it up," Harding said.

Woodsy is a four-time slopestyle winner at World Cup level, his most recent victory coming at the opening event of this season in New Zealand.

He has twice stood on the World Championships podium.

He has four X-Games medals dating back to 2011 when he was 19 and won bronze in the slopestyle in Tignes.

In 2017 he won gold in the big air at the Aspen X Games and bronze in the slopestyle at the Oslo X Games.

This year he picked up a bronze in big air at Aspen.

Pat Sharples & James WoodsWoodsy with coach Pat Sharples

More news from day nine....

Marcel Hirscher dominated the giant slalom and collected his second gold medal of the Games.

He adds the GS title to the alpine combined.

The Austrian came in 1.27 seconds ahead of Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen.

Alexis Pinturault of France completed the podium, taking the bronze.

Kristoffersen, Hirscher, PinturaultKristoffersen, Hirscher, Pinturault

Hirscher seems to be in unbeatable form and will be favourite to win the slalom on Thursday.  Britain's Dave Ryding will be doing all he can to stop him, or at least make the podium behind him. 

Highlights coming up on day 10....

Women's snowboard big air

History will be made at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre when the new discipline makes it Olympic debut. 

The competitors will be aiming to put on a spectacular show after their slopestyle event last week was marred by high, gusting winds.
Aimee Fuller will be the sole Brit standing at the top of the kicker while Katie Ormerod - a pre-competition favourite before fracturing her heel in slopestyle training - will be watching on from home.  She's just returned to the UK after eight days in hospital in Seoul.
Aimee FullerAimee Fuller at the Big Air jump - photo Aimee Fuller

Fuller has twice earned top 10 finishes at World Cup level and was 11th at the Olympic venue when a test event was held at Alpensia.

This season she has competed twice at big air World Cups with a best result of 11th in Moenchengladbach.

Qualifying takes place at 10am (1pm GMT).  The final is on Friday.

Women's ski halfpipe

Britain's pair of female halfpipe skiers have taken different paths to Pyeongchang but both will be hoping to let their performances do the talking when competition gets underway.

Rowan Cheshire's Olympic campaign was over before it started in Sochi after crashing out in practice and suffering concussion.

Her road back to the top of the sport has been a long and difficult one. Cheshire's return to competition has been managed closely by the GB Park & Pipe Team, gradually building her performances towards the level which brought her World Cup glory in 2014.

Rowan CheshireRowan Cheshire - photo Rowan Cheshire

She will be competing alongside 20-year-old Molly Summerhayes who is making her Olympic debut.

Summerhayes, who works at McDonald's when she's back home to help fund her career, left halfpipe training yesterday to watch sister Katie score an inspirational seventh place in the slopestyle final despite an ankle injury.

Molly & Katie SummerhayesMolly Summerhayes with sister Katie after the slopestyle

The 2015 World Junior Champion scored her first World Cup top 10 in December when she was ninth in China and she will have her sights set on attempting to qualify for Tuesday's final.

Qualification starts at 10am (1am GMT)


The third and final runs in the two-man bob competition take place.

The third run is at 8.15pm (11.15am GMT) and the fourth at 10pm (1pm GMT)

Read more of our stories from the Games....

And PlanetSKI's guide to what's on when ...

And our rolling Olympic blog of anything that takes our fancy....

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

Related Articles

SKIING IN CHINA ON THE RISE (Wednesday August 14, 2019)
NIB CRYSTAL SKI? (Thursday June 6, 2019)
KB (Monday March 25, 2019)
LEGACY CLAIMS BY BEIJING 2022 (Sunday February 24, 2019)
DECEMBER NEWS IN BRIEF (Saturday December 1, 2018)
ORMEROD 'GUTTED' TO MISS OLYMPICS (Saturday October 27, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners