Aimee Fuller had a huge smile on her face as she finished the qualification for the Snowboard Slopestyle.
The Winter Olympics debut of the 22 year-old hadn’t gone exactly according to plan down Sochi’s ‘Extreme Park’ course but she had safely negotiated her two qualification runs and although she missed out on an automatic place in the final, Fuller will get another chance to qualify when the semi-final takes place on Sunday morning ahead of the deciding run.
“That was just an insane experience, kinda crazy but a lot of fun. I didn’t quite get everything right but those jumps are huge and I was just stoked to be part of that there,” said the Bangor girl.
“We have the semi-finals on Sunday so that was just a bit of a warm-up I guess.”
Fuller finished 10th in the 12-person heat with a highest score of 44.50, but is in optimistic mood ahead of Sunday.
“I’m not disappointed at all. I sort of thought I’d treat this as a little extra practice and take the pressure off and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’m not really going to think about it too much. I’m just going to go up there and do the best run I can possibly do on Sunday and we’ll see what happens.”
Fuller’s Great Britain team-mate Jenny Jones narrowly missed out on going directly to the final in fifth place. Isabel Derungs from Switzerland finished top of heat one with a score of 87.50.
Fuller, who finished seventh at the Winter X Games in Aspen a fortnight ago, played up to the crowd during both her runs, something she says she enjoys doing.
“It’s crazy arriving at the bottom in front of the crowd. Even in my first run coming over the final jump I did some weird manoeuvre in the air for a bit of a laugh after I messed up my second jump, but I loved going over that jump and hearing and seeing the crowd,” she added.
In the men’s event Ireland’s Seamus O’Connor finished 13th after failing to land his final jump on both runs. Nevertheless, the American-born 16-year-old, whose grandparents are Irish, will get another chance in Saturday’s semi-final.
O’Connor will also compete in the halfpipe event which gets underway on Tuesday.
Meanwhile Fuller will attend the Opening Ceremony will take place today. The Irish flag will be carried by 21 year old downhill skier Conor Lyne while three-time Olympic short track speed skater Jon Eley will carry the Great Britain flag.