independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Irish snowboarder Seamus O'Connor (16) lands first ever triple but fails to make final

Ireland's Seamus O'Connor raises his arms as he reaches the finish line during the men's snowboard slopestyle semi-final competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Blake (RUSSIA  - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SNOWBOARDING)
Ireland's Seamus O'Connor raises his arms as he reaches the finish line during the men's snowboard slopestyle semi-final

Irish snowboarder Seamus O'Connor was "over the moon" despite missing out on a place in the final of the first ever Olympic slopestyle event in Sochi.

American-born O'Connor, who has an English father a Russian mother and Irish grandparents, finished ninth out of 20 starters after following up a 60.75 score with a 70.25 run second time around at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

The 16-year-old was nevertheless delighted with his efforts, which saw him land his first ever triple on his final jump, after struggling in practice on Saturday morning.

"I'm over the moon," he said.

"The first run was okay. My practice this morning didn't go very well.

"The sun hadn't risen so the course was really dark and icy, and I wasn't landing the tricks that I needed to so coming to the first run I was a little bit anxious.

"I put a run down, but it wasn't really wasn't what I was looking for. I was happy to put some points on the board.

"Two days ago, I tried my first ever triple which didn't go the way we planned.

"Then on my second run here, I tried it again on the last jump and I landed it, which is my first ever landing triple, which is amazing for me.

"I couldn't be happier."

O'Connor's Olympic experience is not over yet as he will compete in next week's halfpipe event.

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