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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 17 March, 2018

Ireland's Brendan Newby misses out on ski halfpipe final despite best score of the season

The Cork-born skier finished 22nd with just the top 12 going through.

Brendan Newby after his first run this morning.
Brendan Newby after his first run this morning.
Image: Kin Cheung/PA Images

AFTER HIS FIRST run in the men’s ski halfpipe this morning, Ireland’s Brendan Newby sat just two places outside the qualification places for the final thanks to a season-high score of 53.80.

However, a fall on his second run put paid to the Cork-born skier’s chances of making Thursday’s final and, in the end, the 21-year-old had to settle for 22nd place.

Known as Bubba, Newby’s family moved to Utah when he was still a child but he chose to represent Ireland at the ski halfpipe after its introduction as an Olympic event at Sochi 2014.

All four US competitors — including the defending champion David Wise — qualified for the 12-man final while New Zealand brothers Byron and Beau-James Wells both advanced too.

“It’s insane to be Ireland’s first ever freestyle skier and first ever half-piper,” Newby said after the event.

“I didn’t think that would ever happen. After my run I had a few kids message me on Instagram, now that it has happened I don’t want to be the last [Irish] freestyle skier.

“I want to get more people on the team, I want to get more people skiing for Ireland and get more people involved in what I love. This is the most fun thing you could ever do.

“I hope I made it look like I was having a good time because I was.

This has been unreal. For the rest of my life I’m an Olympian. That’s something I’ve wanted my entire life so for it to actually happen – I can’t even put it into words. On the second run I just popped a little too hard.

“If you pop too hard on a half-pipe you kind of fall out of the sky pretty far and I just couldn’t hold onto it. My hips were behind my feet [on landing] and when you’re there it’s a pretty tough position to get out,” he explained.

My first run was good. I was just going out there fired up to go big and it worked. I had one more trick that I wanted to put down in my second run.

“It was just about improving. I didn’t even know what place I was after the first run, I’ve only just found that out,” he admitted.

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