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Winter Olympics: Strong winds create ‘irresponsible’ women’s slopestyle final
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Winter Olympics: Strong winds create ‘irresponsible’ women’s slopestyle final

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XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

The women’s slopestyle Olympic final was labelled “irresponsible” after strong winds caused havoc at Pyeongchang’s Phoenix Snow Park.

Defending champion Jamie Anderson of the United States won gold but all of riders fell on at least one run.

Britain’s Aimee Fuller came 17th and had a heavy crash on her second run.

BBC Sport commentator Ed Leigh said “serious questions” should be asked about running the competition in the blustery conditions.

“It wasn’t about who was best on the day, it was about who could get the best of the conditions,” Leigh said.

“It wasn’t about anyone’s best run, it was about who could survive and it’s no surprise that two of the three medals were made up of the most experienced riders.

“The thing I’m most pleased about is no one got seriously hurt.”

Fuller described the conditions as the “roughest” she had competed in, adding that it was like “riding into a wind tunnel”.

“On the second run I got my speed right but once I was in the air it felt like I had a sail boat under my board,” the 26-year-old said.

“The wind ripped me sideways and there was not a chance I was going to land.”

Fuller also said it was a “tough question” whether the event should have gone ahead.

“At the end of the day it was the Olympic final and everyone wanted to ride,” she said.

“If you were lucky with the wind there were calm windows but the majority was super inconsistent.

“I don’t think it was a a true reflection of women’s slopestyle which is a shame for our sport.”

Anderson’s controversial win

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Qualifying for the event was cancelled on Sunday due to the winds meaning all athletes progressed to the final but the start was delayed for over an hour before eventually getting under way at 02:15 GMT.

Only five of the 25 riders made it to the end of their first run without a fall and BBC commentator Tim Warwood described the event as a “lottery”.

Anderson’s winning score of 83.00 came in her first run when she was the final rider to take to the course while Canada’s Laurie Blouin won silver and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland claimed bronze.

The American’s score was significantly lower than the 95.25 which won her gold in Sochi in 2014 – in fact British rider Jenny Jones’ bronze medal run in 2014 would have been enough to take gold this time.

The conditions led to a host crashes and riders pulling out of their runs when hit by severe gusts. Slovakia’s Klaudia Medlova suffered a big crash when landing on her back off one of the course’s large jumps but she was able to complete her second run.

Victory for Anderson gave the US their second gold of the Games following Red Gerard’s win in the men’s slopestyle on Sunday.

The six other medals on day three

  • Figure skating team event – won by Canada
  • 10:10-11:00: Biathlon – women’s 10km pursuit
  • 10:30-11:00 & 12:00-13:40: Freestyle skiing – men’s moguls
  • 12:00-12:55: Biathlon – men’s 12.5km pursuit
  • 12:30-14:10: Speed skating – women’s 1500m
  • 12:50-14:20: Ski jumping – women’s normal hill individual

The action on BBC TV

Live coverage

06:00-09:15 and 13:00-18:00, BBC Two and online

06:00-14:00, BBC Red Button and online

09:15-13:00, BBC One and online

The Games Today

19:00-20:00, BBC Two and online

14:00-00:00, BBC Red Button (replays) and online

Olympics Extra

20:00-21:00, BBC Four and online

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