Tough conditions in the halfpipe is not phasing Vancouver Olympian Bex Sinclair as she prepares for competition in the women’s snowboard halfpipe tonight (eds, NZT 2300h) in Sochi.
Sinclair has had three days training in the purpose built Extreme Park halfpipe and while warm conditions and a challenging surface have proven problematic for some teams, Sinclair is ready for competition.
“While she’s had a mixed bag in training with the tough conditions, she’s laid down all the components of her qualification run,” said head coach of the New Zealand Olympic park and pipe team Tom Willmott.
“Her focus is on her own performance, she’ll do what she’s got to do.”Direct entry to the finals is available to just three athletes in each heat so the team’s tactic will be to focus on the semi-finals before moving on as one of the twelve athletes to contest the final.
Having competed at Vancouver where she placed 21st in the women’s snowboard halfpipe, Sinclair is at a mental and physical advantage. “It’s a big show, a big deal , there’s a lot more pressure than normal. So to have gone through that kind of thing before stands her in very good stead.”
“She’s feeling good, she’s ready for it. She’s done everything she could, she’s controlled the controllable.”
Sinclair has made an encouraging come back from injury in 2012 and after a limited time on the slopes in the 2013 season she is currently placed 12th in international rankings.
Willmott believes the men’s competition today in the halfpipe further provides an opportunitiy for any issues to be further ironed out.“We’re hopeful for good pipe conditions tomorrow.”Conditions in Sochi are currently unseasonably warm at 10 degrees during the day on the mountain.