Barwood looks to improve in favoured slalom

Queenstown skier Adam Barwood will look to build on a solid showing in the giant slalom when he competes in his preferred slalom event at the Winter Olympics.

The 21-year-old finished 44th in the giant slalom late on Wednesday, with the gold medal claimed by two-time world champion Ted Ligety, the first United States skier to win an Olympic title in the event.

Barwood was ranked 49th after his first run, with more than a quarter of the 109-strong field failing to complete the course in challenging conditions.

There were casualties in the second round, but Barwood was able to find a balance between speed and precision to complete his second run unscathed.

He improved five places with his second run to achieve his goal of finishing in the top half of the field in his Olympic debut.

"I was going to be really happy if I moved up [in the rankings] and skied as well as I could," Barwood said.

Barwood's coach, Chris Mosaed, was pleased with the performance of his young charge.

"Finishing in the top 50 per cent of the starting field was a general goal for us, but also for Adam to get some good experience out of this, to improve every run. And I think he showed that in his second run, that he's starting to step it up," Mosaed said.

"We're expecting him to step it up even more in the slalom."

The slalom, which starts early on Sunday morning, is the final alpine event on the programme at Sochi, and differs from the giant slalom with gates placed closer together.

"It's almost a bit of a relief to get the first race out of the way and finish well, so now I can just focus on the slalom," Barwood said.

Fairfax Media