Olympians rise to the occasion with top 10 placings
With five top 10 finishes at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the New Zealand team’s campaign at games in Russia has been hailed a success.
Wanaka freeskier Janina Kuzma rounded off the team’s top 10 results, placing fifth in the Women’s Freeski Halfpipe event on Friday.
Qualifying in eighth place, she showed no fear, improving three places in the final.
Wanaka freeskiers Jossi Wells, Beau-James Wells and Lyndon Sheehan all made the finals of the Men’s Freeski Half Pipe, finishing fourth, sixth and ninth respectively.
Wells’ fourth place was New Zealand’s best result at the Winter Olympics since Annelise Coberger won silver in Slalom in France in 1992; a Games that also saw fourth place finishes for the Kiwi 5000m speed skating relay team and short track speed skater Mike McMillen.
Snow Sports New Zealand winter performance programme director Ashley Light, of Wanaka, said it was a ‘‘phenomenal result’’.
Beau-James also proved what a ‘‘ dark horse’’ he was and showed that he was an amazing skier and Sheehan had done well to finish in the top 10 despite being injured, Mr Light said.
Queenstown’s Adam Barwood finished 25th in the Men’s Slalom where only 45 of the 115 athletes successfully completing both runs. It was a personal best him and the 10thbest result for a New Zealand ski racer at the Olympics.
Earlier in the week he finished 44th in the giant slalom.
Going down: Adam Barwood, of Queenstown, competes in the Men’s Slalom at the Sochi Winter Olympics.