Sochi, Russia- (11 February 2014) Tough conditions in the halfpipe are not phasing Vancouver Olympian Bex Sinclair as she prepares for competition in the women’s snowboard halfpipe tonight (NZT 2300h) in Sochi.
Sinclair has had three days training in the purpose built Extreme Park halfpipe and while warm conditions and a challenging surface have proven problematic for some teams, Sinclair is ready for competition.
“While she’s had a mixed bag in training with the tough conditions, she’s laid down all the components of her qualification run,” said head coach of the New Zealand Olympic park and pipe team Tom Willmott.
“Her focus is on her own performance, she’ll do what she’s got to do.”
Direct entry to the finals is available to just three athletes in each heat so the team’s tactic will be to focus on the semi-finals before moving on as one of the twelve athletes to contest the final.
Having competed at Vancouver where she placed 21st in the women’s snowboard halfpipe, Sinclair is at a mental and physical advantage. “It’s a big show, a big deal , there’s a lot more pressure than normal. So to have gone through that kind of thing before stands her in very good stead.”
“She’s feeling good, she’s ready for it. She’s done everything she could, she’s controlled the controllable.”
Sinclair has made an encouraging come back from injury in 2012 and after a limited time on the slopes in the 2013 season she is currently placed 12th in international rankings.
Willmott believes the men’s competition today in the halfpipe further provides an opportunitiy for any issues to be further ironed out.
“We’re hopeful for good pipe conditions tomorrow.”Conditions in Sochi are currently unseasonably warm at 10 degrees during the day on the mountain.
Elsewhere in the New Zealand Olympic Team….
Jossi and Beau James Wells lay down their final training runs this evening (12 Feb) as their competition approaches on the 13 February. Willmott says the brothers are in good shape for competition and the final training day is a bonus.
“They’ve had plenty of training on the course. Jossi got his run together and Beau is looking very good. Both have got a session in hand to feel things out again, maybe push it a bit more.
“They’re enjoying themselves, which is when they perform their best.”
Women’s halfpipe freeskier Janina Kuzma arrived in the Olympic village overnight after a solid period of training and acclimatisation at the team’s European base in Laax, Switzerland. Janina will kick of competition in the women’s freeski halfpipe on 20th February.
And around the Olympic Games
India’s flag now flies in the Olympic Plaza as the IOC Executive Board reinstated the Indian Olympic Committee following a suspension. India’s Nadeem Iqbal and slalom skier Hamanshu Thakur had marched in the opening ceremony under the Olympic flag, but are now free to compete for India.
Men’s ice hockey, one of the most popular events of the Olympic Winter Games gets under way with CZE v SWE and figure skating continues with the pairs free programme at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
Results available here: http://www.sochi2014.com/en/schedule-and-results