Spain goes close in Sochi but falls deny first medal

Snowboarder finalist Castellet slips on last jump

Queralt Castellet of Spain competes in the Snowboard Women's Halfpipe Qualification Heats on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Queralt Castellet of Spain competes in the Snowboard Women's Halfpipe Qualification Heats on day five of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.Cameron Spencer (Getty Images)

Spanish snowboarder Queralt Castellet finished outside the medals in the halfpipe final in Sochi on Wednesday. Castellet, 24, had recorded the second-best score in the qualifying round, 93.25, behind the USA’s Kelly Clark, champion in Salt Lake City in 2002 and bronze medalist in Vancouver four years ago.

In Wednesday’s final, which consisted of 12 riders, Castellet was seventh after her first run during which she performed some spectacular jumps but fell on the last, scoring 61.75. On run two she also suffered a fall and did not better her first score, finishing the event in 11th.

Medal hope Carolina Ruiz, competing in her fourth Games, also missed out after losing control before the finish line of the downhill skiing event earlier on Wednesday.

“I went very well on the upper part, then I made a mistake,” explained 32-year-old Ruiz, who last year became the first Spanish skier to win a World Cup downhill event. “I pretty much controlled it but I found it difficult to recover. I reached one zone a bit behind, a bit to the inside and caught a bump and fell. I didn’t have the chance to recover or anything.”

“Sometimes it just doesn’t happen and that’s it,” she said. “It’s just one lost race. It is worth just one medal, if you go out or end up 10th, it’s all the same.”

Ruiz said she had some discomfort in her knee following the fall, but it was “nothing serious.” She is also scheduled to compete in Saturday’s Super-G.

Six other competitors also failed to finish the course.

For the first time in Winter Olympics history the gold medal was shared between two skiers after Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin both finished with the same time of 1:47.57.

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