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Ireland's Seamus O'Connor is eliminated in the halfpipe semi-final at Winter Olympics

Updated: Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 22:54 | Comments

Seamus O'Connor
Seamus O'Connor

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Ireland's Seamus O'Connor was eliminated following the semi-finals of the halfpipe at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Swiss star Iouri Podladtchikov won the gold medal at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
              
Ayumu Hirano of Japan won the silver medal, while his compatriot Taku Hiraoka took the bronze. Defending champion and heavy favourite Shaun White finished fourth.    

O'Connor finished eighth in the first heat after opening with a solid 66.25 in his first run at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, before impressing the judges in his second run, where he scored 71.50.

The 71.50 was the fourth best of any rider in the second run of his heat.

O'Connor, who was one of only four boarders to post consecutive scores over 60 in Heat 1, qualified for the semi-final as one of the competitors to finish fourth to ninth in the heat. 

He posted a score of 54.00 in the first run in the semi-finals, enough for fourth overall at that stage with the top six advancing to the final.

But he couldn't improve on his score in the second run and finished ninth out of 12 competitors.

O'Connor would have been, at 16, the second youngest competitor in the final behind 15-year-old Japanese prodigy Hirano, who topped the standings in the first heat of qualifying.

The Irish snowboarder looked on course to improve on his first run score of 54.00 but failed to land his final trick properly, which marked him down, and was gradually overhauled.

"It was my hope that if I had landed that run, that I could have made it (to the final)," he said.

Nevertheless, O'Connor, who also competed in the slopestyle event, was happy he fulfilled his wish of making it past the heats stage.

"That was originally my goal - to make the semi-finals and I got in there," he said. "Once I was here I was kind of wanting more. Wanting to land my run, which I was hoping would put me through to the final.

"Just that I made it here is great but it would have been nice pass to through again." 

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