Prior withdraws from snowboarding semi-final

Kiwi snowboarder Christy Prior has withdrawn from the semi-final in this evening's Winter Olympics slopestyle competition, following a crash in practice earlier this morning in Sochi.

Team doctor Nat Anglem said the athlete may have concussion and the decision was made for her to withdraw from competition.

Prior, who is ranked seventh in the world, was seen as New Zealand's best hope of a podium finish in Sochi. 
New Zealand chef de mission for Sochi Pete Wardell said the team was ''gutted'' for the Kaukapakapa 25-year-old.

"Everybody is really gutted, she was in with a real podium chance and after the huge amount of work that has gone in to her preparation, it is really tough,'' he said.

The semi-finals are currently taking place, with Shelly Gotlieb, Stefi Luxton and Rebecca 'Possum' Torr still in action.

The top four boarders from the semi-final qualify for the twelve-strong final, which will take place later tonight.

Fairfax Media