Board­ers and skiers op­ti­mistic at Olympics

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By BY CHE BAKER and STAFF RE­PORTERS

Ex­treme cour­ses and ex­treme crashes have all been part of the show at the 2014 Win­ter Olympics but things are only heat­ing up for the New Zealand team mem­bers. Tonight at 11pm (New Zealand time) Re­becca ‘‘Bex’’ Sin­clair, 22, will take cen­trestage as she com­petes in the Women’s Half­pipe qual­i­fi­ca­tion event at the games in Sochi, Rus­sia. With some great fin­ishes in com­pe­ti­tion lead­ing up to the Olympics and it be­ing her sec­ond time com­pet­ing at the games, Bex is ‘‘feel­ing pretty good and strong’’ for tonight’s com­pe­ti­tion de­spite car­ry­ing in­juries. Her mother Jane said

‘‘she has one trick that is still not quite up to where she would like it. But ev­ery­thing else has been go­ing well. ‘‘The half­pipe has ap­par­ently been get­ting bet­ter ev­ery day. It’s a re­ally steep pipe and quite nar­row so Bex said it’s quite dif­fi­cult to ride and quite tech­ni­cal. She thought that the rid­ers will have to fo­cus hard to ride the pipe well and be able to throw their top end tricks,’’ Mrs Sin­clair said. Sin­clair was ex­pect­ing plenty of tough com­pe­ti­tion, none more so than from four-time Olympian Amer­i­can Kelly Clark, 30, a pre­vi­ous gold medal win­ner. Mrs Sin­clair said she would be watch­ing the com­pe­ti­tion in Wellington with close fam­ily and if Bex won a medal ‘‘we will be look­ing for a very big bot­tle of cham­pagne’’. The ac­tion again steps up tomorrow for New Zealand with the Men’s Ski Slopestyle com­pe­ti­tion fea­tur­ing Wanaka’s Jossi and Beau-James Wells. The ‘‘sketchy’’ slopestyle course has al­ready deterred

TO­DAY 11pm - Re­becca Sin­clair, Snow­board Ladies Half­pipe Qual­i­fi­ca­tions TOMORROW 4am and 6.30am - Snow­board Ladies Half­pipe Semi-fi­nals and fi­nals 7.15pm - Jossi and Beau-James Wells, Freeski Mens Slopestyle Qual­i­fi­ca­tions 8.30pm - Katharine Eus­tace, Skel

Good form: Wanaka’s Beau-James Wells dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion for the Sochi 2014 Win­ter Olympics in Sochi, Rus­sia, last week.

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