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Olympic Slopestyle Men's Qualification - Live Blog As It Happened

22:37 5th February 2014 by Andrew Duthie
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Welcome to Whitelines‘ first live blog of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. We’ll be kicking off at 6am GMT on Thursday 6th February, commenting on all the action as it happens.

Here’s how slopestyle qualification works:

  • The 29 remaining male riders have been divided into two heats,.
  • The 8 highest-scoring riders will advance straight to Saturday’s final.
  • The rest of the field will duke it out in the semi-finals (held earlier on Saturday), and the 4 highest scorers will be added to the final.
  • No-one will actually be eliminated at this stage, but there’s still a lot to play for – everyone wants to bag their place in the final, otherwise they’ll have to land a world-class run in the semis.

Watch the coverage on the BBC Red Button, or on BBC Online. Get involved by leaving comments, or by hitting us up on Twitter (@whitelinesmag) or Facebook using the hashtag #BackTheBrits.

 

Here’s the plain text version of our live blog, but for the full experience (including instagrams etc.) read it in the widget above.

9:52
Ed Blomfield:
Get this – Billy Morgan will be the first ever snowboarder to drop in for an Olympic slopestyle event!

9:54
Andrew Duthie:
And Jenny Jones will be the first woman! Nice of them to give top honours to the Brits…

9:55
Sam McMahon:
Not only that, Billy will be the first Olympian in ANY event in these Olympics, woah!

5:48
Duthie:
Morning everyone. Everything going live at 5.55pm. In the meantime, Lindsey Jacobellis’ 2006 boardercross cock-up is on the red button just now. Never gets old.

5:49
Sam:
Morning Duthie, for those struggling to find a stream this should do it for ya:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/winter-olympics/25811382

Now where’s Ed?

5:51
Ed:
Here I am. Yawn.

5:55
Duthie:
‘Coming Up: MEN’S SLOPESTYLE QUALIFICATION’ – here we go

5:55
Duthie:
And here’s the familiar dulcet tones of Ed Leigh

5:56
Ed:
Billy looks full of nervous energy.

5:56
Duthie:
Joined for the first time in the commentary box by Tim Warwood

5:57
Ed:
Looks like a beautiful day there in Russia. Bluebird….

5:58
Ed:
And Billy’s up to the start gate.

5:58
Duthie:
Predictions for qualification? Im going with….

6:00
Duthie:
Billy, Sage, Peetu, Max P, McMorris, Stale, Chas, Jamie

6:00
Duthie:
Then there’s Roope and Torgier too – argh this is hard

6:00
Ed:
SOme last minute encouragement from coach Hamish McKnight. Check his interview yesterday- guy knows his stuff.

6:00
Sam:
Finally, we can all admit it’s a perfect course, Billy Big Balls about to kick it off!

6:02
Ed:
He’s down safe! So here was his line…

6:03
Ed:
Back board 270 out, front board 270 out, rodeo off the cannon, cab double underflip, frontside double 1080, backside double cork 1260

6:03
Duthie:
Billy’s at a disadvantage going first – usually they get scored lower, in case someone does something nuts later on

6:04
Ed:
Still no score on the screen for viewers, tho Billy doesn’t look massively stoked.

6:06
Duthie:
Torgier Bergrem hasn’t had a great run – nice rail section, but the kickers weren’t his usual standard – cab 5, front 9, half-cab. 25.00 is the score

6:06
Ed:
76.25 for Billy – that seems low to us but maybe they’re setting a benchmark. As long as the judges are consistent it shouldn’t matter.

6:06
Bethan Williams@lorienfee

Billy Morgan. Slope style team GB participant. Without an anterior cruciate ligament! Total total respect.

6:06
Sam:
Torstein would have been cleaner… but we’re stoked Torgeir made it out!

6:07
Mark Salmon@_marksalmon

I’ve never been so nervous watching the Olympics. Nice first run from Billy Morgan. Stoked to see a friend compete in the Olympics, so proud

6:08
Sam:
Charles Reid – Front 2 on, front 2 out, front blunt 2 out, dub bs rodeo, cab double under and a sketchy front 14!

6:08
Sochi 2014@Sochi2014

Woohoo! It is finally here! First competition day of #Sochi2014. We start in the mountain with #Snowboard #SlopeStyle pic.twitter.com/2uyxA55tn1

6:09
Sam:
Charles Reid with a 54.5, shows how harsh the judges are gonna be towards reverts

6:09
Duthie:
Yuki Kadono dropping!

6:09
Ed:
Quite a range of scores from the judges for Billy Morgan’s run, looking at the breakdown. Highest of 81, lowest of 70?!

6:10
Sam:
Yuki Kadono – Front 2 on, front blunt 2 out, front 3, cab double then a sketchy something… Billy’s looking good so far

6:10
Ed:
It’s all about putting down a clean run though. No one else has managed that so far – and don’t forget the riders only get 2 runs each…

6:11
Duthie:
Niklas Mattsson from Sweden is next up, not a well-known rider but there’s definitely all to play for still

6:13
Ed:
Lovin’ Niklas’s outfit – reminiscent of Jim Rippey in one of the old TB movies with those stripes down the leg :)

6:13
Duthie:
Wow. started off with a nice switch front board, and was the first to hit the ‘hitching post’ feature. Somehow he got it together on a sketchy first jump, but his last hit (a back 12) was epic

6:14
Duthie:
And he gets a 82.75! He’s in the lead.

6:14
Sam:
Room in Niklas’ gaper gap for another sponsor?

6:15
Duthie:
Haha. Here’s another Norwegian machine… Emil Ulsletten

6:16
Sam:
Emil sketches out on the second jump but can’t wait to see that mega-spinny japan grab in his next run!

6:16
Ed:
Tim Warwood winning the commentator battle – comparing the trick names to a Bulgarian cocktail menu. 1 nil!

6:18
Sam:
Seb Toots – Front blunt 2, front 3 off, front board into cab 12, front dub 10 and a back 12! Nice variety, scores a 74.25

6:18
Ed:
Two 12′s – beast! – but Toots not going as deep on the landing as some of the riders so far.

6:19
Duthie:
Stale Sandbech to drop next – maybe the best of all the Norsemen. This ought to be good…

6:19
Ed:
Lock up your wives!The Norwegians are coming!

6:19
Duthie:
Lovely hard way 270 to start, but he sketches out on the second rail!

6:20
Duthie:
Still so solid on the kickers though, as always – if he gets it together on the second run, a place in the final is his for sure.

6:20
Duthie:
45.25 for Stale

6:21
Ed:
I’ve not seen a stylier trick recently than Stale’s frontside 1080 shifty shifty in that ‘best of 2013′ viral video. What do you all think?

6:21
Sam:
Next guy to drop, Alexey Sobolev, is the one who leaked the course preview the other day

6:22
Sam:
I saw tricks like that backflip in a kids comp over the weekend…

6:22
Ian Parker@idp1979

British free style Snowboarder Billy Morgan hasn’t got an anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees. #sochifact #machine #unbelievable

6:23
Duthie:
eh, a 63?!

6:23
Duthie:
Fix!

6:23
Ed:
Local bribe, much? ;)

6:23
Sam:
Chas G the oldest competitor… Rockstar!

6:23
Duthie:
It’s the first sighting of the patchwork quild-esque Team USA kit…

6:23
Comment From Joe Cavanagh
Yuki is cheesing! Look at that grin!

6:24
Ed:
He apears to be dropping in wearing an old blanket

6:25
Ed:
Lots of people asking where they can watch a live stream – we’re watching on the BBC’s iPlayer but this only works in the UK, sorry. God bless the license fee.

6:25
Sam:
Chas G, back 10 on the first jump and his last double easily the deepest hit of the course yet… Scores an 86!

6:26
Duthie:
Chas may look like a villain in a frat house comedy film, but he sure knows how to ride

6:26
Ed:
He really does eh?

6:27
Colin Holden@colinholden

@billymorgan89 still in a good spot … we made it @Tris_Kennedy @whitelinesmag#epicjourney @… instagram.com/p/kEH1b8wKBe/

6:28
Ed:
Here’s a tweet from our man on the ground, Tristan…

6:28
Whitelines@whitelinesmag

Crowd going wild for local boy Alexey Sobolev here! But that wasn’t a great run…#BackTheBrits #sochi2014

6:28
Sam:
Scotty James the first to hit that roller coaster rail with a real nice front 3 off Not a very nice way to end though, stacking a back dub 12… Could go for a trip on the next run?

6:29
Duthie:
There’s the current standings – Billy still in 3rd, ahead of Seb Toots

6:29
Duthie:
Up next is Peetu Piirionen. Like Scotty James, he was at the last Olympics in the halfpipe. But slopestyle is his thing

6:29
Ed:
Billy currently in 3rd, ahead of Seb Toots. He needs to finish in the top 8 overall today to qualify straight through to the finals on Saturday. Otherwise he’s in the semis, where just 4 more places are up for grabs…

6:30
Duthie:
Peetu’s only 5’5″! But he goes massive. Not his strongest ever run, but he did a switch back 10 among other big hits. Tim Warwood’s just called him “The Paul Scholes of snowboarding” – make of that what you will

6:31
Ed:
Well Scholsey wasn’t very good in sunlight either.

6:31
Duthie:
90.75! R2 Peetu into the lead

6:31
Ed:
Lucien Koch – gold medal for the name!

6:32
Sam:
Koch-ed it on the bonk there

6:32
Duthie:
He’s Koched, locked and ready to rock

6:32
Ed:
Just a small mistake from Koch. Balls.

6:32
Sam:
Backside double Koch?

6:33
Aimee Fuller@aimee_fuller

Go on lads!!! We are rotting for you from the @TeamGB house! @billymorgan89@jamienichollsuk have it!!!! pic.twitter.com/11Vt8CO31R

6:33
Duthie:
only 32.00 for Koch.

6:33
Ed:
Small Koch.

6:33
Duthie:
Here’s Jamie Nicholls!!

6:33
Ed:
Jamie’s up!!!

6:33
Sam:
All artificial snow, home soil advantage for Jamie Nicholls!

6:34
Duthie:
Best rail game we’ve seen yet! Castleford had a part to play in this run!

6:35
Sam:
Jamie – 2 on 2 off, front blunt 2 off, front blunt 2, boardslide on the wallride, cab 10, sw back 9 and back double 10

6:35
Ed:
He looks pretty happy with that. But it’s a 62.25 – what?!

6:36
Duthie:
62.25 – what a joke! Some people get a perfect 100 with a bigger hand drag than that!

6:36
Sam:
Come on! Brilliant judging here…

6:36
Ed:
Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood as surprised as us. Seems the FIS judges do NOT like a hand drag.

6:36
Duthie:
Anyway, here’s Austria’s Mathias Weissenbacher

6:36
Jess Softley@Jess_Leigh95

Brilliant run from @jamienichollsuk with 62.25, some harsh marking there #Sochi#WinterOlympics #slopestyle

6:36
Duthie:
And he’s down…

6:36
Jonny Whiteoak@jonnygarcon

Go Jamie Nicholls! Awesome ride from the Halifax lad! #Sochi2014

6:37
Sam:
Maybe a boot grab will up his score on the next run

6:37
Duthie:
How quickly can we get Jamie a Russian passport?

6:37
Duthie:
Mathais scores an 18, and that’s the end of heat #1

6:38
Ed:
Lovely guy in the sky shot – managed to miss the grab and everything….

6:38
Furry Shinobi@Ichi_Bear

#GoBilly #TeamGB #Sochi2014 #Slopestyle pic.twitter.com/6A5g9mWEaC

6:38
Duthie:
That’s the first time I’ve seen the official Sochi slogan

Hot. Cool. Yours.

6:38
Whitelines@whitelinesmag

Met @benkilner and @DomHarington JUST in time to catch jamienichollsuk’s first run!#backthebrits instagram.com/p/kEJbrDMqyN/

6:38
Ed:
Billy’s back

6:39
Ed:
270 on, 270 off, boardslide 270 off, front blunt 270 off, backside rodeo, cab double underflip, frontsde double cork 1080, TRIPLE CORK!

6:40
john collins@johnyc123

Billy Morgan take a bow #Sochi2014

6:40
Gemma Louisa Roberts@AGemOfSorts

Billy Morgan you beauty!

6:40
NickMcdonald@therealNickMc

BILLY MORGAN YOU HERO! Back side triple!!

6:40
Ollie Williams@OllieW

Oh, Billy Morgan, I’m not going to try to pretend I’m any slopestyle expert but that looked stunning.

6:40
Sam:
No one can deny that was the best run yet

6:40
Duthie:
YES BILLY. The first triple in the games!

6:41
Duthie:
And he’s still in third after that?! Ye gods.

6:41
Sam:
Torgeir moving into top gear there!

6:42
Duthie:
Tor Bergrem with the most amazing claim after hitting the knuckle and bouncing back to his feet! Rad.

6:42
Duthie:
But there’s no getting away from it, he’ll have to duke it out in the semis

6:42
Ed:
Raddest thing I’ve sen so far. Knuckle catch to cat-instinct landing, followed by a claim! And then a METHOD. Harnessing the spirit of Terje right there. Or not – Terje hates the games as we all know ;)

6:43
Leese@lovaleePC

Wow credit where credit due Billy Morgan incredible! Great Great Britain. Score didn’t reflect talent displayed! #Sochi2014 #SlopeStyle

6:43
Marcus Dickinson@MDRev

What’s with the scoring for slope style?! #BackTheBrits #Sochi2014

6:44
Whitelines@whitelinesmag

BILLY!! @billymorgan89 looking stoked with that 2nd run score. #sochi2014#backthebrits instagram.com/p/kEKInKsqy3/

6:44 Ed

6:44
Duthie:
Charles Reid is the forgotten 4th Canadian, after Toots, McMorris and Parrot, but he’s still putting down great runs. He hasn’t made the final though.

6:45
Gemma Louisa Roberts@AGemOfSorts

Seriously, who they fuck is judging this? Bipolar scoring! #WinterOlympics #Sochi2014#SlopeStyle

6:45
James Craig@jamesacraig

Only 84.50 for @billymorgan89 despite landing the first triple cork? Hard to work out what the judges want to see. #Sochi2014 #BackTheBrits

6:45
Sam:
Yuki Kadono will have to try again on Saturday morning then

6:46
Duthie:
He may not have stomped his run, but Yuki Kadono will console himself with the fact that he just got compared to Romain De Marchi by Ed Leigh

6:46
Ed:
Wanna get involved? Hit us up in the comments, or tweet @whitelinesmag, or use the hashtag #BackTheBrits

6:47
Ed:
Jim Rippey back on course. Oh wait, it’s Niklas Maatsen

6:48
Duthie:
I reckon he lost his team kit and had to raid Sochi’s lost property bins

6:48
Stuart Watt@RazaMaChaz

#BackTheBrits come on @billymorgan89 & @jamienichollsuk let’s get to the finals…if the judging isn’t rigged! #Sochi2014

6:48
Duthie:
Ulsletten on course again – by the hammer of Thor!

6:49
Sam:
Maatson grabbing himself an 87, Ed Leigh reckons flat spins are doing it for the judges in this heat

6:50 Ed

Our man has bunped into some Olympians…. @benkilner @domharington

6:50
Sam:
Back 10 japan grab from Emil Ulsletten! Sage Kotsenburg would be proud… Just missing the top four though.

6:50
Paul@BroccClothing

@billymorgan89 only gets 85.50?? Bullshit scoring, that was the best run so far!!!#Sochi2014 #snowboarding #Slopestyle

6:51
Duthie:
Seb Toots, the “snowboarder’s snowboarder” according to Tim

6:51
The Snow Centre@the_snowcentre

Whoop! @billymorgan89 1st rider to triple today in a Men’s #Slopestyle#WinterOlympics 85.5 #goteamgb

6:52 Ed

It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it, eh Tristan?

6:52
Duthie:
And that’s one of the cleanest runs yet – similar rail game to his first run, but mega solid on the kickers. The cab double cork 12 in particular. And he’s in 2nd with 87.25!

6:52
Sam:
Come on Toots, show some emotion! 87.25!

6:54
Ed:
If anyone’s wondering why the competitors in Oakley goggles look a little odd – there are some hardcore rules around size of logos during the Games, so the usual big ‘O’ on the strap has to be no bigger than like, an inch or something. Meh. Weird.

6:55
Sam:
Staale-ing out those rails into one of the most technical jump sections: cab 12, back 10 into front 14. 94 points and first place!

6:55
Duthie:
Here’s the Russian guy again, Alexey Sobolev. Still only one triple so far, from Bily. That’ll please some folk.

6:55
Sam:
So flat spins over triples? Judges opinions weighing heavily into the scores

6:56
Duthie:
Looks like that backflip on the first run wasn’t a sketchy one – that’s just how he does them…

6:56
Ed:
Yeah. Ed Leigh and co also seem to think the judges are after FLAT spins now. Triple corks are, like, so yesterday it seems?

6:56
Duthie:
Ah, the hometown hero has come unstuck. No final slot for him yet. Or, most likely, ever.

6:57
Sam:
All about the frontside 14, maybe not so much the straight backflip…

6:57
Duthie:
Here’s Chas, currently in 4th…

6:58
Sam:
Chuck ‘Norris’ Guildemond dropping, already edging Billy out by .5

6:58
Duthie:
He’s bailed on his run after getting a hand down. It wasn’t looking much better than his first, but he’s still sitting pretty in a finals place.

6:59
Paul@BroccClothing

Flat spins higher marking than triple is just odd #Sochi2014 #snowboarding#Slopestyle

6:59
Mandi Bierly@EWMandiBierly

I assume Sandbech has a shampoo endorsement. He should. #olympics #slopestyle#riggins twitpic.com/duko05

6:59
Ed:
If Billy was given a point for each missing knee ligament, he’d still be in fourth place. Make of that what you will.

7:01
Sam:
Scotty James with a tornado spin on the last jump, Sochi’s Tomahawk?

7:01
Duthie:
The Thunder from Down Under

7:01
Duthie:
Here’s Peetu-bot once again. He’ll get this down, then go back to protecting the Da Vinci Code

7:01
Ed:
If flat spins really are the order of the day then that has to favour the Scandis. Spinning over icy booters is their bread and butter.

7:02
Ed:
Peetu loves a pair of white gloves. He’s the Mickey Mouse of shred.

7:02
Sam:
Bit of a victory lap from Peetu, already through. Peetu-ed out towards the end?

7:03
Duthie:
That pun was pretty Piir, Sam

7:03
Ed:
Nice Piir-ouette tho. The judges will like that.

7:04
Ed:
Aha. There’s a Koch back in the start gate.

7:04
Sam:
Koched it again!

7:04
Ed:
Koch. Sucked.

7:04
Duthie:
He’ll need to be up with the Koch tomorrow to get enough training in for the semis.

7:05
Ed:
Koch a doodle doooo!

7:05
Sam:
Rocked out, Koched out

7:05
Duthie:
For anyone who’s not yet figured it out, Koch fell on the first rail.

7:05
Ed:
Yeah. It was a limp Koch we saw there.

7:07
Duthie:
Kennedy-cam! WL’s Tristan on the TV!

7:07
Ed:
Jamie Nicholls is up again! Back 270 on, 270 off, half cab 3 out, front blunt 270, boardslide to switch, cab 1440, sw bs 9, bs dbl cork 10

7:08
Ed:
Where did that 14 come from?! YES Jamie!

7:08
Duthie:
Why’s it taking so long for the score?!

7:08
Duthie:
86.75 – 4th place!

7:08
Sam:
Jamie Nicholls getting through with 86.75

7:08
Ed:
He’s in fourth!

7:08
Baz Watson@BazWatson

I’m about to make a load of Olympic tweets but first: Jamie Nicholls. Enough said.

7:09
Skyler Wilder@NorthWestWilder

Great Britain’s @jamienichollsuk makes a #slopestyle full pull! He bumped@ChasGuldemond out of the final for now! Congrats Nicholls!

7:09
Lloyd Rowe@MrLloydRowe

Jamie Nicholls well done! Quality snow boarding! #GBR #WinterOlympics

7:09
Sam:
Jamie potentially straight through to the finals, Sheffield dryslope for the win!

7:09
BBC Sport@BBCSport

Jamie Nicholls moves into fourth place in the snowboard slopestyle qualification at#Sochi2014. Watch now at bbc.in/1ezJte6

7:10 Comment From Tomas
Hey guys, about the judging. I’m not really surprised about what is going on, because It is judged by FIS judges.

7:10
Comment From Joe Cavanagh
Are they taking 4 riders from Heat 1 and four from Heat 2 or combining the two heats and taking top eight overall?

Sam:
We’re not too sure yet Joe…

7:10
Melimelo@Snurferaction

JAMIE NICHOLLS GOOD JOB!! Nice Snowboarding!! @jamienichollsuk

7:10
Shawn Smith@theshawnsmith

Heat 1 over: Staale Sandbech, Peetu Piiroinen, Sebastien Toutant, Jamie Nicholls advance straight to the final. Everyone else to the semi.

7:11
Sam:
Austrian park standards not helping that last guy too much…

7:11
Ed:
Not sure who Shawn is but he seems to think it’s top four straight through, rather than best 8 scores over the two heats

7:11 Comment From selena
where can i watch ? (on the iphone)

Sam:
You watch it on the screen.

7:11
Sam:
Jamie Nicholls definitely through!

7:11
Ed:
It’s confirmed. The top 4 from this heat are through. Jamie’s in the final!!

7:12
Warren Pitt@warrenpeacepitt

yes

X
Sochi 2014 volunteer

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