Injury ends medal hopes for Gillings

BRITAIN’S Zoe Gillings saw her hopes of a medal disappear in the women’s snowboard cross last night after crashing out at the semi-final stage with a foot injury.

Gillings, one of Britain’s biggest claims for a medal in Vancouver, qualified easily in eighth place for the last 16, despite a second round fall.

But amid heavy fog, which delayed the start at Cypress Mountain, a clearly-pained Gillings was beaten into the ‘small final’ positions, to determine fifth to eighth places, along with American world champion Lindsey Jacobellis.

But the injury proved too painful for Gillings to continue as she pulled out just yards from the start gate to concede eighth place.

In the end, Canada’s Maelle Ricker, claimed the host nation’s second gold medal, while France’s Deborah Anthonioz and Olivia Nobs, of Switzerland, were second and third.

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s curling captain David Murdoch shrugged off his side’s shock 5-4 opening game defeat to Sweden yesterday.

The world champions produced an error-strewn performance to let in the Swedes, but Murdoch said: “Pretty much every championship I’ve been in I’ve lost the first game. It’s the norm for us. It’s a long week here and the goal is to get the semi-final. Whether that’s in first place or fourth place, I don’t care.”

In biathlon, Sweden’s Bjorn Ferry overcame a 72-second deficit to take the 12.5km title, while six-time world champion Magdelena Neuner grabbed her first Olympic biathlon title in the women’s 10km pursuit. German Neuner lost out in Sunday’s sprint but this time overturned the deficit on Slovakia’s Anastazia Kuzmina.

Elsewhere, heavy snow forced the postponement of the men’s super-combined event, featuring Britain’s Ed Drake. It is now expected to be held on Friday.