23 February 2018

PyeongChang 2018 - Day 15 Preview

SNOWBOARD: MEN’S BIG AIR at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre

1am (GMT) – Billy Morgan

Billy Morgan will appear in his second Olympic final tomorrow morning as the first-ever medals are decided in the men’s big air.

Snowboard big air is making its Olympic debut in PyeongChang and Morgan took one of the last places in the final after finishing sixth in his heat earlier in the week.

The 28-year-old was a finalist in slopestyle four years ago in Sochi where he finished tenth, and he will be aiming to record another top 10 result for the GB Park and Pipe squad in PyeongChang.

In qualifying, riders took the best score of their two runs to determine their position. Tomorrow, each of the 12 finalists will get three runs with their best two scores added together to determine the overall ranking.

"It's going to be mental in the final,” said Morgan after Wednesday’s qualifiers. “I would need a lot of luck to podium now after seeing what's going on.

“But anything can happen, I will try my best."

The final commences at 1am GMT and Morgan will be the second rider to drop.

 

ALPINE: TEAM EVENT at Yongpyong Alpine Centre

2am (GMT) – Charlie Guest, Alex Tilley, Dave Ryding & Laurie Taylor

History will be made on Saturday morning when the inaugural Olympic Alpine Team Event takes place.

The event features head-to-head racing over a shortened parallel slalom course with giant slalom gates. Two women and two men will face off against each other in individual match-ups with one point recorded for each victory. If the scores are tied after the four races, combined times are used to determine the winning team.

Team GB will be made up of Charlie Guest, Alex Tilley, Dave Ryding and Laurie Taylor. Ryding, in particular, has had success in this format with two top-four finishes in World Cup parallel slalom events. Alex Tilley also qualified well in this format at Courchevel in December.

The British quartet has been drawn against USA in the first round, however the Americans are without superstar slalom specialist Mikaela Shiffrin who is not participating. That opens the door for Britain who collectively have had better slalom results at these Games than their opponents.

Should they win their way through the opening round, Team GB will face a difficult quarter-final assignment against Norway or the Olympic Athletes from Russia.

 

CROSS COUNTRY: MEN’S 50KM CLASSIC at Alpensia Cross Country Centre

5am (GMT) – Andrew Musgrave & Callum Smith

Andrew Musgrave has had a mixed Olympic campaign in PyeongChang combining historic results with relative disappointment but he has one last chance to show his wares in tomorrow’s 50km classic mass start.

The 50km event is one which placed Musgrave firmly in the international spotlight last year when he was fourth at the World Championships in Finland, less than three seconds off the gold medal position.

While that event was raced in the free skate technique and not the classic which is being contested in PyeongChang, the result is a testament to Musgrave’s endurance which will come to the fore. Musgrave has predicted tomorrow’s race will be “long, hard & brutal... just the way cross-country skiing is meant to be”.

The 27-year-old has already achieved three top 30 results in as many events at these Olympics. To put that in perspective, prior to PyeongChang, Great Britain has only earned four top 30 results in cross country skiing in the previous 13 Winter Olympics combined.

Callum Smith will join Musgrave in the event which will be a true test for him. Smith has only contested the 50km race twice before, his best result coming at last year's World Championships in the free skate technique where he was 53rd.

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