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Wednesday February 21, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Snowboarder Billy Morgan is through to the final of the first men's Olympic Big Air competition. Also on day 12, Lindsey Vonn misses out on gold.

The 28-year-old Brit posted a best score of 90.50 on his second run to finish sixth in his heat and take the final qualification place in his heat. 

The standard was so high that Morgan admits he's going to need to some luck to get a medal.

Billy MorganBilly Morgan

"I needed to squeeze as many points out of it as possible. I had to go deep and I did. Basically it meant I needed to get the highest score I could for a back triple.

"Someone had to do a more technical trick to beat me. There are few guys who can do tricks but not with that grab.

"The standard is mental, everyone has been killing it.

"It's going to be mental in the final. I would need a lot of luck to podium now after seeing what's going on.

"Watching practice it has been mental. But anything can happen, I will try my best."

Billy MorganBilly Morgan














Read more about this spectacular event, which is making its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang:

Billy MorganBilly Morgan in Big Air practice

















Morgan's teammates Rowan Coultas and Jamie Nicholls have not made it to the final.

20-year-old Coultas, in his first Olympics, was eighth in his heat with 84.50 points, just 0.50 off a qualification place. 

He landed a trick he'd never done in competition before.

"I'm just really to happy to land. It was a stacked heat so you could tell by the scores it would be really tight to squeeze in there. I'm happy.

"It's been an amazing Games, I'm definitely going to try to go to the next one."

Rowan Coultas, Billy Morgan, Jamie NichollsCoultas, Morgan & Nicholls - photo GB Park & Pipe
















Jamie Nicholls, who's 24, finished 11th in his heat on 81.25.

"It's just good to be part of such a high standard of snowboard big air. I'm excited for the future and the next four years and going into the next Games.

"I think it's amazing for the sport, I'm so glad we now have big air, slopestyle and halfpipe all in the Olympics, it's brilliant. The sport has progressed so much and evolved so much and it's great to see everybody killing it in different disciplines."

Women's downhill

The women's downhill was one of the big events of day 12, with the 33-year-old American Lindsey Vonn going for gold in her last Olympics.

She won downhill gold at Vancouver in 2010 but was injured and could not compete at Sochi in 2014.

She didn't manage the win, but took bronze behind Italy's Sofia Goggia and Norways Ragnhild Mowinkel.

Lindsey VonnVonn after her final Olympic downhill















Afterwards an emotional Vonn said she had wanted to win for her late grandpa.

"It's my last Olympic downhill race.  I really wanna keep racing forever but I can't," she said.

"I'm really proud to walk away with a medal."

Later she posted on Twitter:

Today I won a bronze medal that felt like gold. It was an amazing day that I will never forget. Thank you to everyone who supported me and helped me get to this point. Love you all.

Vonn is not finished yet, even if Pyeongchang is her last Olympics.

She has 81 World Cup wins - an all-time women's record and only five behind the great Swede, Ingemar Stenmark.

She wants the overall record.  And who would bet against her?

Cross-country team sprint

Also on Wednesday GB's cross-country skiers,  Andrew Musgrave and Andrew Young took part in the team sprint.

They looked like they might make it through as a fastest loser after their first heat but were forced to watch on as their tenuous place in the final slipped away.

The second heat produced a faster race than the first, with Musgrave and Young falling back from sixth in their heat to finish 12th overall.

The result is Britain's second highest finish ever in an Olympic cross country event behind Musgrave's seventh in the skiathlon at these Games, and the best team result ahead of three 14th place finishes in the men's 4x10km relay (1956, 1964, 1984).

Andrew YoungAndrew Young in the team sprint

"That was good fun, it was really hard," said Young who turned 26 today.

"I wasn't feeling lethargic but just didn't have my best body so I just had to make the most of it and try and ski three good consistent laps.

"I think we didn't quite ski to 100 per cent. At an Olympics if you don't come out all guns firing, you get punished for that."

While it is Young's last race of the Games, Musgrave will come out for his fourth and final event on Saturday in the 50km classic, determined to do well after being disappointed in his 15km free race earlier in the week.

Andrew Young & Andrew MusgraveAndrew Young & Andrew Musgrave team sprint

"I've got over it a little bit now and I'm looking forward to doing the 50km and getting another top result," said Musgrave.

"Of course I still think about it a little bit. It was the biggest goal of the last four years, of course I can't just forget it.

"But at the same time I'm trying now to use that as motivation for the 50km."

Bobsleigh - Women's bob

The crowdfunded British pair, Mica McNeill and Mica Moore finished eighth - the best ever result for GB women.

Not bad considering they had to raise £30,000 to compete on the World Cup circuit this season after their official funding was withdrawn.

NEXT UP - Dave Ryding goes for glory in the men's slalom on day 13 at the Olympics. See our separate story:
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