NZ snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott completes last run in style, places 13th in women's slopestyle




Zoi Sadowski-Synnott admits being worried by high winds at the top of PyeongChang's snowboard slopestyle run but her coach wants her to better adapt to difficult conditions.

The New Zealand rising star finished 13th in a crash-filled women's final at the Winter Olympics.

The 16-year-old made several mistakes on her two efforts, scoring 26.7 and 48.38 as the wind socks filled in PyeongChang on Monday morning.

"I was pretty devastated that I couldn't put down a clean run and see where that got me," Sadowski-Synnott told NZ Newswire.

"The conditions were a bit tough, quite windy. It was quite consistent but it played with your mind a bit when you were dropping it.

"I guess it got to me a bit and I messed up a few things."

In a poor advertisement for the sport, only a small number of the 25 riders were able to land their runs as conditions wreaked havoc.

Jamie Anderson defended her Olympic title with a stellar first run awarded 83 points, with the American not needing to attempt her second.

She was too good for the 76.33 from silver medallist Laurie Blouin of Canada and Finnish bronze winner Enni Rukajarvi (75.83).

The final took place a day after qualification was cancelled due to wind and all riders progressed, with the decider shortened from three runs to two to fit into the predicted competition window.

Sadowski-Synnott, one of New Zealand's best medal hopes despite being second youngest on the team after winning World Cup gold in March, wasn't entirely clean on the rail sections which made jumps in high winds even more difficult.

"It is pretty scary," she said of competing in high winds.

"You don't come into a jump the same as you usually would.

"You come in really fierce and ready to knuckle and hurt yourself, but also try and land."

Her coach Mitch Brown, a two-time Olympian, said his charge had the potential to win an Olympic medal in slopestyle.

"Zoi had the tricks and the riding capability to be right up there but it just wasn't her day today," Brown said.

"It was definitely challenging conditions, but when you're in an outdoor sport in the mountains, wind is always going to be a factor, the snow, all aspects.

"But you've just got to adapt to the conditions and ride the best you can on the day."

Sadowski-Synnott will now turn her attention to next week's big air event, in which she won silver at last year's world championships.

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