Japan's Miyabi Onitsuka crashes during the women's snowboard slopestyle final on Monday morning. Photo: REUTERS
olympics

Strong winds cause havoc in snowboard slopestyle

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Strong cross-winds at Pyeongchang's Phoenix Snow Park have played havoc during the first run of the women's snowboard slopestyle final on Monday.

Only five of the 25 riders who attempted a run made it down the slope without a fall. Finland's Sochi Olympic silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi and Austrian favourite Anna Gasser were among those to struggle.

The start of the final was delayed by over an hour because of the wind but, after qualification was cancelled entirely on Sunday due to the weather, organizers decided it could continue.

Jamie Anderson of the United States retained her women's snowboard slopestyle gold medal by winning the final at Pyeongchang's Phoenix Snow Park on Monday.

After the final was delayed due to strong winds, Anderson held off Laurie Blouin, who claimed silver. Enni Rukajarvi of Finland took bronze.

The conditions had already been blamed for injuries suffered on the mountain.

Australian snowboarder Tess Coady took to Instagram to blame the wind for the injury she suffered in practice for qualifying on Sunday.

"(I) got picked up in the wind on the bottom jump in practice and my ACL was not a big fan!" Coady said in her Instagram post.

Earlier in the day, POCOG spokesman Sung Baik-you told reporters that the windy weather would continue into Wednesday.

"The temperature in the mountains is minus 15 to minus 25 Celsius," he said. "The wind speed is five-10 meters per second and it is making competitions very difficult."

All the athletes had a second run, with the best score from the two counting towards their final position.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Hard to imagine the cold sitting here at home watching TV, but then adding gusty winds must make it hell. Some of those snowboarders were flailing their arms in the air trying to stay in balance. Truly scary stuff.

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The tough conditions favored the more experienced athletes

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