14/04/2024
The 2022 Winter Olympics continued in Beijing on Day Five, with high medal hopes in the Snowboard Cross for Belle Brockhoff, and Scotty James kicking off his campaign in the Snowboard Halfpipe qualifying.

The 2022 Winter Olympics continued at Beijing on Day Five, with high medal hopes in the Snowboard Cross for Belle Brockhoff, and Scotty James kicking off his campaign in the Snowboard Halfpipe qualifying.

Belle Brockhoff and Josie Baff both represented the country with distinction in the Snowboard Cross. Brockhoff, at her third Olympic Games, started slowly in qualification, before barnstorming her way through the knockout finals to reach the final four. Unfortunately, a slow start meant she was unable to clinch a medal. Baff qualified well but lost her heat to eventual silver medallist Meryeta Odine.

Scotty James got in the runs he needed to dust off the cobwebs, qualifying second fastest for the Snowboard Halfpipe final, with compatriot Valentino Guseli qualifying fifth. In the women’s snowboard halfpipe, Emily Arthur just missed out on qualifying for the final, finishing 14th.

Katie Parker came straight out of isolation thanks to two negative PCR tests to compete in the Alpine Slalom. Unfortunately, she stumbled on her first run and missed a gate, ending her Olympic dream.

Jackie Narracott continued her practice runs in the Skeleton ahead of the competition starting Friday.

Women’s Snowboard Cross

Australia had two competitors in the Women’s Snowboard cross in Belle Brockhoff and Josie Baff, with Brockhoff considered one of the favourites for the event.

Qualification involved two runs to determine seeding amongst the 32 athletes. Brockhoff put in what she considered a disappointing first run of 1:25.72 to place her in 19th, with Baff impressing with a time of 1:25.11 to place her in 14th and lock in a top 16 seed.

Brockhoff improved on her first run to record a qualifying time of 1:24.72, placing her in 18th place for the knockout races.

https://twitter.com/7olympics/status/1491264619331166208?s=20&t=flsnS-nIht7rqtEO58VEcw

The knockout finals involved races of four athletes, with the top two progressing to the next knockout final. Baff was pitted against competitors ranked third, 19th and 30th and unfortunately, got too much air on one of her jumps and could not quite make up the ground, finishing third to the highly touted Meryeta Odine of Canada.

Brockhoff was up against the second-fastest qualifier and current world champion Charlotte Banks in her heat but comfortably managed to finish second to progress to the quarter-finals.

Brockhoff started slowly in her quarter-final, but stormed back with a fast second half of the race, passing Bankes to again snag second and book a spot in the semi-final.

Brockhoff came storming back in her quarter-final. (Source: Twitter @LMcKirdy7)

It was much of the same in the semi-final, with Brockhoff again finishing second, which was enough to put her through to the final. With only four competitors, she was a huge chance to collect a medal, however, a really slow start put her back to last from the outset, and she was unable to make up the distance on the other three competitors, with the USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis claiming the gold.

This was Brockhoff’s best place in an Olympics, and a bit of luck here or there would have seen her grab that elusive medal. Nonetheless, this was an amazing effort and one of which she will no doubt look back on in the future with pride.

More Olympic News

Winter Olympics Australian recap: Day Four

Winter Olympics Medal recap: Day Four

Winter Olympics Australian recap: Day Three

Alpine Skiing – Women’s Slalom

The Women’s Slalom almost didn’t feature an Australian, however, Katie Parker’s negative covid test result on the morning of the event meant she was all set to make her Olympic debut.

Over 100 competitors made it to the start line of the treacherous course, with the total time over two runs being combined to determine the winner.

Parker, unfortunately, made a slight error and missed a gate, meaning she was unable to complete the course. It was still an amazing effort for her to even get to the start line considering all the dramas in the lead-up.

https://twitter.com/7olympics/status/1491255965437640706?s=20&t=flsnS-nIht7rqtEO58VEcw
Parker did an amazing job to even get to the start line. (Source: Twitter @7Olympics)

Snowboard Halfpipe – Women’s and Men’s Qualification

Both the men’s and women’s qualifications took place on Day Five in the Snowboard Halfpipe. Each competitor has two runs down the course, with the best score being used to determine the top 12 who qualified for the final.

Scotty James, in his fourth Olympic games, posted the highest score of the 25 competitors in run one with 88.25. He went even better in run two, scoring a huge 91.25 to qualify in second place for the final on Friday afternoon.

https://twitter.com/7olympics/status/1491287650564816897?s=20&t=OKv1NJC79fz2MLAcmHWcfQ
Scotty James cruises into the Snowboard Halfpipe final. (Source: Twitter @7Olympics)

Lesser-known Aussie Valentino Guseli posted a poor score of 31.75 in his first run to sit in 16th spot, however, an awesome run saw him score 85.75 to put two Australian’s into the final.

Emily Arthur was the sole Australian competitor for the women and scored 62.50 on her first run to place her in 12th place. Unfortunately for Arthur, she couldn’t complete her second run successfully, scoring just 19.75.

A couple of other competitors managed to best her time, meaning she did not quite qualify for the final, finishing in a respectable 14th place.

https://twitter.com/7olympics/status/1491233029167235079?s=20&t=rY9UHWomeTEsuFoo8DB0Zg
Arthur put in a terrific first run. (Source: Twitter @7Olympics)

Women’s Skeleton Practice Runs

Jaclyn Narracott continued her practice runs for the women’s skeleton, posting the 15th quickest times in official practice heats five and six. Narracott struggled on the bottom section on both runs and is hoping that come the formal competition on Friday to put in more consistent runs.

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