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Nicholls narrowly misses out on medal at Winter Olympics
10:43am Saturday 8th February 2014 in Sport
Queensbury's Jamie Nicholls was delighted with his sixth-place finish for Great Britain as American Sage Kotsenburg stormed to gold in the first ever snowboard slopestyle event at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Nicholls looked well placed for a shock podium spot after a fine effort, coupled with several competitors crashing out, left him in second place behind Kotsenburg after the first run.
A shaky second run saw him fail to better his 85.50 score first time around and he was then overtaken before eventually finishing sixth, with Norway's Staale Sandbech winning silver and pre-tournament favourite Mark McMorris bronze.
Nicholls' British compatriot Billy Morgan, who topped qualifying in this morning's semi-final, crashed in both runs and finished tenth.
"I'm really happy, I can't believe it," said Nicholls.
"I'm so happy that (Billy and I) made the finals and the top ten. I can't be more happy than that."
Nicholls had surprised many, including himself, by reaching the final and had promised he would not hold back today.
He lived up to his word and held his nerve, when others around him were struggling, with a clean run that culminated in a backside triple on the final jump.
Kotsenburg had earlier produced a nigh-on faultless routine that would be enough to see him win gold with a score of 93.50.
With McMorris and fellow Canadians Sebastien Toutant and Maxence Parrot, among others, stumbling over in their routines, Nicholls found himself in the silver medal position.
But McMorris overtook him after landing three triples in as many jumps before Nicholls then stumbled on a rail in his second run and was awarded 46.50.
Sweden's Sven Thorgren, who finished fourth, ended any hopes he had of winning a medal.
"I don't normally mess up on the rails. I came off early and then I just had some fun," Nicholls added.
"I hope we can get some new talent coming up and doing what we did. Hopefully we can be at the next one too.
"I'm so proud of this sport, I can't believe the standard. It's the highest I've seen it."