Rebecca Torr keeps slopestyle tricks up sleeve

BAD RUN: New Zealand's Rebecca Torr reacts at the finish line during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying session.
BAD RUN: New Zealand's Rebecca Torr reacts at the finish line during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying session.

Kiwi snowboarder Rebecca "Possum" Torr isn't panicking after missing out on direct qualification for the Winter Olympics slopestyle final, insisting she has kept "a couple of tricks" up her sleeve for the second chance semifinals tomorrow.

Torr was the best performing of the four New Zealand snowboarders in action during the women's slopestyle heats yesterday morning, finishing sixth in the first heat, which the entire quartet featured in, with a best run of 70.75.

The run featured tidy back and frontside 540s after a solid rail section, and a spectacular frontside 720 to finish it off.

The result wasn't good enough to secure Torr an instant spot in the final - awarded to the top four from each heat - meaning she and the other three Kiwis, Christy Prior (7th in the heat), Stefi Luxton (8th) and Shelly Gotlieb (11th) will take part in the semifinals on Sunday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

"The first runs were definitely mellower runs [yesterday]," Torr said.

"I just wanted to put down something to build up my confidence. I think if I had landed my second run, I would have got more points - maybe not enough for the finals, but even that run was okay.

"I'll definitely be looking to add a couple more tricks to my run over the next day or two."

Four competitors out of the 15 involved in the semifinals will join the eight already in the final.

Medal favourites Jamie Anderson (United States), Torah Bright (Australia) and Spencer O'Brien (Canada) have already secured their final spot, while Austria's Anna Gasser was the most impressive in qualifying with a 95.50 in her second run in the second heat.

Torr isn't nervous heading into competition tomorrow knowing that two bad runs will see her knocked out of the competition.

Such is the nature of the competition in snowboard slopestyle, the 23-year-old Te Puke native said.

"It's all about whoever is on their game on the day - I'm not nervous at all," she said.

"I got all those nerves out of the way today, I sort of wasn't sure what to expect in the Olympics.

"I'm feeling good and mellow, and just know that I've got to do what I can do."

Meanwhile, speed skater, and New Zealand opening ceremony flagbearer, Shane Dobbin will take part in his first event of the Olympics tonight.

Dobbin will compete in the men's 5000m long track event, in which he finished 17th at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The Palmerston North-raised, Gold Coast-based skater is seen as an outsider for the event, which should be dominated by Dutch riders Sven Kramer, Jorrit Bergsma and Jan Blokhuijsen.

Dobbin's best event in Sochi should be the 10,000m long track event on February 19 - a discipline he finished sixth in at the World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships at Sochi last year. Fairfax NZ

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