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snowboarding’s top competitor Shaun White, of the United States, from competing after he was concerned about injuring himself and jeopardising his chances in other events. However, the course was expected to have Jossi Wells in his prime. Wells, who is one of New Zealand’s best chances of climbing the podium in the slopestyle freeski event, made an immediate impact at the Rosa Khutor course during the New Zealand snowboard and freeski athlete’s first training session, according to New Zealand park and pipe team head coach Tom Willmott. ‘‘Jossi was really happy with the big size of the jumps - it means plenty of air time which means time to do some more technical manoeuvres,’’ Willmott said. ‘‘He likes things big and he’s also very creative on the rails so there’s lots and lots of options and he’s working his way through the different features and working out something that’s going to stand out from the crowd, so that’s exciting to watch.’’ The course forced Wanaka rider Christy Prior to withdraw from the women’s event after sustaining concussion in a crash on the course during practice. The crash happened when she was performing a backside 360 and didn’t land the jump cleanly. The remaining Kiwi boarders, Shelly Gotlieb, Rebecca ‘‘Possu’’ Torr and Stefi Luxton, then failed to finish in the top four in the semifinal, missing out on a spot in the final. Gotlieb was the best placed Kiwi, finishing seventh in the semifinal with a best run of 63.25. Luxton finished eighth with a best run of 60.25, and Torr tenth with a top run of 32.50 Those who want to catch the New Zealand team in action can do so at the Lake Bar in Wanaka where an Olympic hub has been set up and the games will be screened live. ◗ Page 5: Wanaka manpower involved in building Olympic halfpipe.