Kiwi claims medal at Winter Youth Olympics

Finn Bilous became the first New Zealander to medal at a Youth Winter Olympics. Photo / Getty
Finn Bilous became the first New Zealander to medal at a Youth Winter Olympics. Photo / Getty

Wanaka freeskier Finn Bilous has claimed New Zealand's first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games medal, taking home silver in the halfpipe.

Bilous finished behind gold medalist Birk Irving of the USA with Norway's Trym Sunde Andreassen rounding out the podium in third place.

With three runs to earn a top score, Bilous started off with his safety run, happy to land clean tricks and come away with a first run score of 89.60 points from a possible 100.

At the end of run one the Kiwi initially sat in first place, the American not too far off with a score of 84.80, with both skiers aware that they would need to step things up a notch.

For Bilous this would require a personal best performance, landing a run he'd learnt in a recent training camp but never yet used in competition. The step up run included a new trick, a double wobble 7, on the very last hit.

Bilous landed his second run cleanly and increased his score to 90.80 before Birk Irving lifted the stakes even higher with a score of 93.00. Bilous pushed hard on his third and final attempt. He upped his score to a 92.20 but it was not quite enough to topple Irving from the top spot.

"I'm really happy with the way I skied today," said Bilous. "Birk came through with an amazing run. Now I've got the slopestyle event to look forward to."

Bilous will compete in the freeski slopestyle event on Saturday (Sunday morning NZT.)

The freeski halfpipe rounded out a successful day of competition for the New Zealand team.

The snowboard halfpipe was held earlier in the day with New Zealanders Tiarn Collins and Rakai Tait claiming fifth and sixth place respectively.

In alpine ski racing Elizabeth Reid finished 11th in the women's Alpine Combined and Jackson Rich 25th in the men's event.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 05 Dec 2016 22:58:23 Processing Time: 457ms