Sierra Nevada Olympic Qualifier – Brits boss it

Photos by Oli Kraus/FIS

Dom Harington busting out a big invert first hit.

The attention of much of the UK snowboard scene (including Whitelines) has been squarely on The Brits in Tignes over the last few days. But over in Sierra Nevada in Spain another comp has been taking place.

An FIS World Cup which all-importantly counts as a qualifier for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The GB Freestyle Team have been over there and have notched up some seriously impressive results over the course of the week – including a third place for Billy Morgan in slopestyle.

Billy Morgan on the podium – wahay!

His run, which included a 7, a double back rodeo, a cab double cork and a backside double cork beat a packed field including the likes of Gjermund Braaten and Ethan Morgan.

Japanese teenage prodigy Yuki Kadono won, while Max Parrot, the French-Canadian wunderkind, got 2nd.

Combined with his 5th place finish in the Colorado in December and the 4th place in Quebec earlier this year, the result means that barring a freakishly abnormal set of results from here on in Billy has done enough to qualify for the Sochi Olympics already.

It also means he’s currently ranked number 2 in the world according to FIS!

Billy Morgan in action over the second kicker.

Meanwhile over in the halfpipe Dom Harington put down a rad run to finish 14th – his best result this season. The achievement was made all more impressive by the fact that he was riding with a torn ankle ligament.

Initially he’d thought that was his competition over, but he manned up and managed to ride it anyway. He told us “I still managed to ride but was a bit of a pain killer and taping mission. But I’m so stoked with the result!”

Chase Josey of the USA cranking out a steezy indy tailbone on his way to 10th place.

Finishing 14th gives Dom the second all-important top 20 finish he needed to meet the UK’s Olympic Qualification criteria. He still has to meet the international qualification criteria – being in the top 30 on the FIS world ranking list at the end of the qualifying period – but the result is a major step towards Dom going to the Olympics.

It was a bit of a pain killer and taping mission. But I’m so stoked with the result!

Ben Kilner also rode well earning yet another top 20 finish.

The conditions over the course of the week were terrible, and despite the fact that the course and the jumps were apparently good, the women’s slopestyle had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

Jamie Nicholls struggled with shite weather all week.

Obviously this meant Aimee Fuller, Jenny Jones and Katie Ormerod couldn’t have competed even if they’d wanted to. Similarly Jamie Nicholls didn’t have a great week of it, failing to make finals.

But all in all, it was a pretty damn successful week for Team GB. Get in!

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