sport

Brit duo miss out on final

British freestyle skiers Murray Buchan and James Machon failed to qualify for the first ever Winter Olympics halfpipe final in Sochi.

Buchan finished 17th with a top score of 62.40 in difficult conditions at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, while Machon (52.20) placed 23rd.

With only the top 12 qualifying for Tuesday night's showpiece event, the duo missed out.

The first day of snowfall at the Games was causing havoc at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, with several riders crashing out, including Lyman Currier, who landed awkwardly and looked to have severely hurt his right knee.

It is to Buchan's credit that he managed to execute both of his runs, which were awarded scores of 58.40 and 62.40 respectively, although the latter looked a little harsh on the young Scot.

"I'm a little bit disappointed," he said. "But I'm absolutely ecstatic I managed to land two runs and get a decent place in. I'm just really happy overall.

"(The judges) were looking for a lot of grabs and amplitude but it's difficult when the conditions are so tough.

"I think that's what cost me, the grabs, but it's just the way it goes sometimes."

Compatriot Rowan Cheshire withdrew from the women's equivalent event earlier on Tuesday after being knocked out in training on Sunday and spending the night in hospital with concussion as a result.

Buchan added: "Rowan would want us to go and do our best, she wouldn't want us to shy away.

"It's part of the sport, injuries happen all the time in any sport and in skiing it happens a lot more often than not because there's a lot of risk involved.

"It's tough but she'd want us to do well."

For Machon, even competing in Sochi represents an extraordinary achievement.

The 23-year-old from Sheffield tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee last year and although he was a big doubt, he has managed to participate.

"I was out most of last season and it was looking virtually impossible for me to make the Olympics eight months ago," he said.

"I worked really hard on my rehab and everything's paid off."

Machon pulled up in his first run but managed to land his second run without many hitches, which earned him his high score.

"It was incredible to land my run here in the Olympics," he added.

"I had a bit of a technical issue on my first run due to the conditions.

"I'm just really happy to get one down at the Olympics because it means everything."

Canadian Justin Dorey will head into Tuesday night's final as one of the favourites after topping the qualifying heat with a score of 91.60.

World champion David Wise (88.40), who has won the last three prestigious Winter X Games superpipe titles, will also be in the reckoning after finishing second.