GB Snowboarders off to Flying Start

On September 19, 2008 by

The Great Britain snowboarding team made a good start to their 2010 Winter Olympic campaign with respectable World Cup results in both the cross race in Argentina and the half-pipe event in New Zealand. Riders Zoe Gillings and Ben Kilner were in action last weekend, with the latter achieving his highest scoring run to date.

Despite taking a tumble in the final, Gillings pulled out all the stops and secured a fourth-place finish in the snowboard cross event. The youngster is currently ranked sixth in the world, but made no joke about how difficult the course was: “It’s been a really tough race. I have suffered several minor injuries but in true English style I battled through and ended with a good result."

A number of athletes were also rescued from the mountain by air ambulance, highlighting just how treacherous the course was.

In New Zealand, Zoe’s teammate Ben Kilner achieved a fifteenth place finish in the half-pipe event. This result may seem modest at first glance, but Kilner’s score of 38.5 out of a maximum of 50 in the qualifying event marks a personal best for the Scotsman, while his final score vaults him into the highest echelons of British snowboarders past and present.

The cross race was won by current champion Lindsey Jacobellis, while Kohhei Kudoh of Japan claimed first place in the half-pipe. It is reassuring to see that in a sport dominated by youngsters, Britain’s Olympic hopefuls are already making their presence felt.

The 21st Winter Olympic Games will be held from 12th – 28th February 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.

Written by Chris Illingworth