New Zealanders fail to make finals in snowboard slopestyle

New Zealand's Stefi Luxton takes a jump during the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinal. Photo / AP
New Zealand's Stefi Luxton takes a jump during the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinal. Photo / AP

The four New Zealand riders all failed to reach the final of the snowboard slopestyle event at the Sochi Winter Olympics tonight.

Fifteen competitors were gunning for a top four placing to advance tomorrow morning's final, but the best the New Zealand contingent could manage was a seventh for Shelly Gotlieb.

Gotlieb had a solid first run of 63.25, which placed her sixth after the first ride, but she failed to add a higher score following a poor landing following a 900 attempt in her second run at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Stefi Luxton scuffed a landing in her first run to record a 18.25 and was much cleaner in her second (60.25) but it still wasn't enough finishing a spot behind her teammate in eighth. Rebecca Torr had two disappointing runs of 27.25 and 32.50 to finish 10th while Christy Prior withdrew with a concussion following a crash in practice.

Slopestyle is a judged event and riders are awarded points as they descend a course made up of a series of rail features at the top and three large jumps towards the bottom.

Shane Dobbin finished 14th in the 5000m speed skating race in Sochi but the Kiwi flag-bearer felt that he was on target for his more favoured 10,000m event.

Fresh from leading the New Zealand team at the opening ceremony, Dobbin faced off with Russian Ivan Skobrev as the event was contested in time trial format. The noise from
the local crowd left the long-track speed skater unable to hear coach Kalon Dobbin, hardly helping his cause as he finished with a time of 6:26.90 in the 26-strong field.

Dobbin was relatively satisfied with the run-out, which he said left him on track for next week's longer event.

"It was about bang-on, actually,'' he said. "The result itself is probably not that good, ending up at 14th, but the goal was to set about 30.8s per lap and I [went] a little faster. If you were to break down the race, my last two or three laps were the quickest and that's a good sign going into the 10k.''

Racing Skobrev, who finished seventh, Dobbin had to be wary of chasing too closely, while the enthusiastic home crowd also hindered information coming from his coach.

"I had to wing it and I had to rely on hand signals and lap boards to know the time I was doing.''

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 21 Nov 2014 16:03:33 Processing Time: 569ms