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Seamus O'Connor raises snowboard course fears

Updated: Monday, 03 Feb 2014 16:03 | Comments

O'Connor pictured competing in the Snowboard Big Air at the Winter Games NZ
O'Connor pictured competing in the Snowboard Big Air at the Winter Games NZ

Seamus O'Connor, who will compete for Ireland in the snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle events at Sochi 2014, has raised concerns over the safety of the slopestyle course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Norwegian snowboarder Torstein Horgmo, who was among the favourites to medal in the discipline, was ruled out of the Games after it was revealed he had sustained a broken collarbone as a result of a fall during practice at the course.

O'Connor claimed the course was "pretty dangerous" after his first training runs and urged other athletes to call for improvements to the course before the slopestyle competition gets under way.

"The course needs some work," said 16-year-old O'Connor.

 "They overbuilt the jumps because they were anticipating that the snow would melt. At the moment the riders are not happy. The rails up top are too close. It's pretty dangerous at the moment. I think it's definitely going to be a problem for the women. It's pretty gnarly for them.

"We may see some injuries. I hope not, but the whole course is variable as it is.

"The riders need to speak up about the conditions. The rails can't be fixed but they can fix the jumps."

O'Connor's grandmother is from Drogheda and grandfather is from Dublin, while his mother is Russian and his father grew up in England.

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