Dave Ryding achieves Great Britain’s best alpine skiing result in 30 years although there is disappointment for Team GB’s male curlers.
- Dave Ryding finishes ninth in the slalom – Britain’s best alpine skiing result since Martin Bell’s eighth in the 1988 downhill – with Team GB debutant Laurie Taylor 26th.
- Kyle Smith’s curling rink miss out on the semi-finals after losing 9-5 to Switzerland
- Emily Sarsfield’s finishes 23rd in the ski cross ranking event. The knockout races take place on Friday
- Team GB’s men’s four-man crews continue their preparations, clocking the fastest push start times on runs three and four.
Slalom skier Dave Ryding admitted he would look back on his Olympic-best finish of ninth with pride, and has already set his sights already set on a medal come Beijing 2022.
Ryding clocked a time of 1:40.16 to finish inside the top ten – Britain’s best Olympic alpine skiing result since Martin Bell finished eighth in the downhill at Calgary 1988 as Sweden’s Andre Myhrer took gold.
“After the dust settles I’m sure I’ll be pretty proud of a top ten finish at the Olympics and in four years’ time have something to really build on,” he said.
“I came to it really late so I’m still warming up. I’m more than motivated to keep going – obviously I’m a little tired, this job is stressful, but I’m more than motivated to keep going and keep improving.
“At the start of the day if you’d said ninth I’d have said , it’s solid. I had a couple of mistakes there that were a bit costly but I’m sure everybody did.”
There was further good news with debutant Laurie Taylor finishing 26th – one place better than Ryding managed in his first Olympic slalom event in 2010.
“Watching Dave push the top guys in the world has been great to watch and I look up to him, I want to try and copy what he does,” said the 22-year-old who will compete in
Saturday’s team event with Ryding, Charlie Guest and Alex Tilley.
“I’m so happy to have made it through to the finish line. It was a fight to get down but I’m really happy.
“It was super fun, the first time getting a clean course at one of these events and to finish top 30. That’s where I was hoping for. I didn’t know I could get it so I’m so chuffed.”
Kyle Smith vowed to bounce back stronger in four years time after his rink fell short of the play-offs in PyeongChang.
After losing to the USA in Wednesday’s final round robin game, Team GB had one final chance to make the final four when they took on Switzerland in the tie-breaker game.
But after a close game, rival skip Benoit Schwarz showed his tactical experience to grab a five in the ninth end and put the contest out of reach, eventually winning 9-5.
“We gave it our best shot but that’s the dream over. I’ll take a lot from the experience coming to the Olympic Games with my best friends and my wee brother, that’s something you dream of as a boy,” said Smith, a former world junior champion.
“There are lots of positives to take from this and learn from. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves in some of the tighter games. We were two wins and three losses and we’ve got back into the tournament beating some of the best teams in the world.
“It’s a sore one, we gave ourselves the chance of making the semi-finals but we couldn’t make it happen.”
Emily Sarsfield got her first taste of Olympic competition when she finished 22nd in the ranking round.
She will ski against France’s Alizee Baron and Canada’s India Sherret in Friday’s first knockout race.
“The important thing for me was making sure I had a smile on my face at the start and the finish,” she said.
“The really fun part from me is when you are racing in the heats and going head to head so I’m looking forward to that on Friday.”
Team GB’s bobsledders demonstrated they’ve got the speed at the top of the track as they recorded the first and second-quickest push start times on the latest day of training.
Brad Hall and his crew were quickest before finishing 15th fastest overall while Lamin Deen’s team were six places quicker overall.
Friday sees the opportunity for two further training runs before competition starts on Saturday.
What’s to come tomorrow…
After ranking 22nd on her Olympic debut, freestyle skier Emily Sarsfield will see how far she can progress in the knockouts at the Phoenix Snow Park. She competes in her 1/8 heat from 10:20 (01:20am UK time).
Attention will then all switch to the curling in the evening as Eve Muirhead and her rink take on Sweden in their semi-final. Can Team Muirhead go one better than four years ago and book their place in the gold-medal match? They play at 20:05 (11:05am UK time).
Report courtesy of Team GB