Queenstown's Barwood 44th in giant slalom

12:29, Feb 19 2014
Adam Barwood
New Zealand's Adam Barwood brushes by a gate during one of his giant slalom runs.

Queenstown's Adam Barwood has finished 44th in his Olympic debut in the giant slalom.

The 21-year-old improved five places between his first and second run, comfortably finishing inside the top half of the competition.

Warm conditions at the Rosa Khutor alpine centre made life difficult for the 109-strong field, with soft snow providing testing conditions.

More than a quarter of the field failed to either start or finish the course, and there were some high profile casualties in the second run as well.

Barwood was placed 49th after the first run, just under eight seconds from the lead.

Two-time world champion Ted Ligety became the first United States skier to win an Olympic giant slalom title since the event's inclusion in the programme in 1952.

Ligety, who had a handy buffer at the end of the first run, was able to defy the conditions despite the top 30 skiers running in reverse order in the second run, to deny Frenchmen Steve Missillier and Alexis Pinturault.

Barwood will compete in his more favoured slalom event early Sunday (NZ time).

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