Team GB impress on Winter Youth Olympics day one

Katie Summerhayes

Winter Youth Olympic Games

Venue:
Innsbruck, Austria
Date:
13-22 January
Events:
Alpine Skiing (14-21 Jan), Biathlon (15-21 Jan), Bobsleigh (22 Jan), Cross Country (17-21), Curling (14-22), Figure skating (14-21), Freestyle Skiing (14-20), Ice Hockey (16-19), Short Track (18-21), Snowboarding (14-19)
Coverage:
Daily 60 min highlights programme on BBC Red Button, 1900 GMT; reports & video on BBC Sport website; British Olympic Dreams special on 28 January, 1300 GMT, BBC One.

GB freestyle ski champion Katie Summerhayes said she was 'stoked' after qualifying for the halfpipe final on the opening day of competition at the Winter Youth Olympics in Austria.

The 16 year-old from Sheffield scored 55.50 in her first of two runs, which was enough for her to progress to Sunday's six-strong medal race.

Summerhayes admitted to the BBC: "I was a little bit nervous at the beginning.

"But I think it's a good thing and I'm really happy I gave it my best shot."

Summerhayes added: "I still think there's more to improve on and hopefully tomorrow I can win a medal.

"It's one of the biggest competitions for my age category, so I'm stoked to be here and be representing Team GB."

Fellow freestyle skier Tyler Harding also made it through qualification to secure the eighth and final position with a best run high score of 63.50.

"It's all there for the taking," Tyler-Harding admitted to BBC Sport.

"Now I'm there, who knows? I want to try and put an extra bit in for the final, get higher up the course and really go all out."

Team GB snowboarder Lewis Courier-Jones finished seventh in his heat to make the semi-finals after scoring 60.00 on his second run.

"There was a bit of pressure on me so I'm delighted to have landed my run," said Courtier-Jones, who had previously been out of action since November with a broken wrist.

"The pipe is amazing, definitely one of the best ones that I have ridden and it feels extra special to me because I haven't been in a pipe properly since July."

Over in Patscherkofel at the alpine skiing venue, GB athletes Rachelle Rogers and Paul Henderson finished 24th and 17th respectively.

Both athletes were pleased with their performances ahead of the Super Combined event on Sunday.

"I gave it everything that I had, which is all you can do when you're given this opportunity," said Henderson.

Rogers added: "It was the first time I'd raced the Super-G properly this season, so I was a little bit nervous.

"Coming into the bend I nearly fell over and lost my concentration, but I managed to keep it together and, as top 30 was my aim, I am happy," Rogers told BBC Sport.

Although they should have been the first GB athletes to compete on the opening day of Innsbruck 2012, the Great Britain curling team had to wait until later afternoon for their first match against Sweden.

After arriving for their 0900 game against hosts Austria it was discovered that an overnight power failure meant that the ice had melted and thus their match was postponed.

When the British team, who are 'thinking of gold', did finally get underway, they struggled against a strong Swedish side and never recovered from going four behind in the first end, eventually losing 6-4.

GB curler Tom Muirhead said: "We're disappointed to lose but we actually played really well as a team and it was a great match.

"The Sweden skip played an excellent shot to get four in the first end. We dominated the second half but were just a little bit unlucky in the first end and gave ourselves too much to do."

"There was a lot of support here for us and great noise. We're looking forward to our matches tomorrow and can take a lot of positives from playing well in this one," concluded Muirhead.

In addition to the alpine skiing finals on day two, Calum Irvine will compete in the biathlon 7.5km sprint medal race and Team GB ice dancers Millie Paterson and Edward Carstairs will make their Youth Olympic debuts when they perform their short routine at the Olympiaworld Stadium.

The GB curlers will also be hoping to get their campaign fully underway when they face Canada - the world's leading curling nation.

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