Woods issues bold Olympic promise after Big Air disappointment in Beijing

Woods, 30, was left smarting after he narrowly failed to stick his first two runs
Woods, 30, was left smarting after he narrowly failed to stick his first two runs

From James Toney in Beijing

James Woods vowed the best is yet to come after a bad day at the Big Air.

Shadowed by five industrial cooling towers in the grounds of a former steel mill, Big Air Shougang is the world's first permanent venue for these flying tricksters, an urban setting for the X-Games generation.

But Woods, 30, was left smarting after he narrowly failed to stick his first two runs, meaning he didn't make the top 12 scores needed to qualify for Wednesday's final.

"I wanted to put on a show because the goal is to come in and win these competitions," said Woods.

"I'm disappointed with my result but there is a lot more to it, I tried some stuff that's never been done before, it just didn't happen but I can hold my head up.

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"This is the big show, so it's disappointing not to make the finals but I knew how hard qualification would be. The plan was to win this, so it feels a blow."

Woods will travel up to Zhangjiakou, 120 miles north of Beijing, where the 2019 world champion will reset his focus on next week's slopestyle, where he finished fifth and fourth at the Sochi and PyeongChang Games.

Snowboarders, including Yorkshire's Katie Ormerod, have been on the course this week, with reports the features, jumps and rails, which include a snow 'Wall of China', were huge.

But Woods isn't so sure.

"I'm buzzing for the slopestyle, you get knocked down and you want to come out swinging hard," he added.

"I know what I can do and slopestyle is a little bit more my thing than Big Air if I'm honest.

"The course looks big on the TV but it's not that massive, perhaps it's not as big as I'd hope it would be really. I'm going to stare it down and it'll be sweet.

"I've got three days of shredding and practice but my only focus has been preparing for the Big Air, now I'm ready to shift my plans."

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Meanwhile, three-time Olympian Katie Summerhayes was left cursing her luck after finishing 13th in qualifying for the women's event.

With one skier left she was sitting in the last final place but Olympic champion, Switzerland's Sarah Hoefflin, stuck a big trick to skewer her hopes in the final run of the competition.

"I’m really happy with the way it went. I don’t really feel like a Big Air skier, so to come 13th I’m actually really stoked," she said.

"To miss out on finals by one spot is tough but I never thought I would finish that high."

Summerhayes was full of praise for British team-mate Kirsty Muir, the youngest member of Team GB, aged just 17. She made the final in style, nailing the second highest scoring run of qualifying to underline her medal hopes.

"It’s great to see Kirsty doing well, for her to make finals is great. I’m just excited to see all the girls throw down and it’s a big moment for her," added Summerhayes.

"It’s pretty crazy. She is nine years younger than me so I feel old. When I look down the start list there are not many of us in the 1990s now, it’s pretty sad!"

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