Snowboarder Torah Bright will have to focus on her ‘pipe’ dream after falling short of a slopestyle medal at the Winter Olympics.
It was the first jump on both her runs in the final that brought Bright undone, the 27-year-old handslapping on the landings to lose valuable points with the judges.
Her two runs scored 64.75 and 66.25, putting her in seventh position. This was well behind the second-run 95.25 that catapulted American Jamie Anderson to victory, giving the US wins in both the men’s and women’s slopestyle.
Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi (92.5) was second while Great Britain’s Jenny Jones (87.25) was third.
Bright, the Vancouver gold medallist in the halfpipe four years ago, will turn her attention to that discipline, which is contested on Wednesday.
The first snowboarder to contest a three-event program at the Games, she will also compete in the snowboard cross.
The slopestyle final was full of drama. The Czech Republic’s Sarka Pancochova, who led the field after the first run, had a dramatic fall in her second, splitting her helmet (pictured left) and lying motionless on the slope for a few nervous seconds. She recovered to join her fellow competitors at the bottom of the course.
Despite her showing, Cooma-born Bright’s famous smile was still plastered across her face.
“You really can’t be upset when you do your best,” she said.
She also noted that there was “more to life than just ‘shredding’.” Before the final, Bright posted a message of support on her Facebook page to friends who had lost their baby on Saturday. “I decided that I was going to be here to shred for their little girl,” she said after the event.
Bright spoke glowingly of all the competitors. “I’m so proud of all the girls. They’re out there shredding their little hearts out. I’m so pumped to cheer on these girls.”
Of the risks involved in the sport, Bright said: “It’s not to be taken lightly. We are putting our life and limb on the line.”
Asked if the result would fire her up for the halfpipe on Wednesday, she replied: “I’m fired up from the beginning. I’m so happy to be here and so happy just to put on a show with my fellow shredders and have a great time.”
She had particular praise for Swiss boarder Sina Candrian, who she said broke new ground in the final, and should have scored higher.
2002 gold medallist Alisa Camplin was less fatalistic about Bright’s performance. “This was the one that got away, to be honest,” she said. “She only had to have a clean run – and she didn’t.”
Of the other Australians on day two:
• Lucy Glanville came 82nd in the women’s 7.5 km biathlon, which was won by Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina;
• Callum Watson finished 60th in the men’s 15 km cross country, which was won by Switzerland’s Dario Cologna;
• Alex Ferlazzo came 32nd in the men’s single luge, which was won by Germany’s Felix Loch.
In other results:
• Austria’s Matthias Mayer won gold in the blue riband men’s downhill from Italy’s Christof Innerhofer and Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud.
• Russia won the team ice dance free dance figure skating from Canada and the US.
• Irene Wust from the Netherlands won the women’s 3000m speed skating from Martina Sabilkova of the Czech Republic and Russia’s Olga Graf.
• Poland’s Kamil Stoch won the men’s normal hill ski jumping from Slovenia’s Peter Prevc and Norway’s Anders Bardal.