Salisbury JournalSummerhayes 'gutted' to miss medals (From Salisbury Journal)

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Summerhayes 'gutted' to miss medals

Salisbury Journal: Katie Summerhayes finished seventh in Sochi Katie Summerhayes finished seventh in Sochi

Katie Summerhayes was "really gutted" to finish outside of the podium places in the Winter Olympics ski slopestyle, but proud she could prove the doubters wrong by competing in the first place.

The teenager finished seventh in the final of the discipline, which was making its Olympics debut in Sochi, something of a disappointment after she qualified in third for the showpiece event with two impressive runs.

Immediately afterwards, a tearful Summerhayes said: "I'm gutted, I'm really gutted."

But the fact she was able to participate at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park is extraordinary.

In March 2012, she sustained a career-threatening knee injury, which would require reconstructive surgery, while a recurrence of the same problem only last April needed an exploratory operation.

With the Olympics 10 months away, many doubted Summerhayes would be ready.

She bounced back by earning a silver medal in a World Cup event for the second time last month and a top-10 finish on Tuesday will give her satisfaction in the long run.

"It's been extremely tough, actually, but my whole goal was to get to the final of the Olympics," she said.

"Everyone told me that I couldn't do it, I just proved them wrong. That was one of the big things.

"So many people on the way were like 'it's going to be tough', but I'm here."

She insists she will be back as well, and may not be the only Summerhayes there, with younger sister Molly also keen on making it to Pyeongchang in 2018.

"That's me and my sister's plan, it would be amazing," said the elder Summerhayes.

"We haven't actually skied together for a while because of my injury but when we grew up we had so much fun skiing."

Summerhayes appeared to be on course for Britain's second medal of the Games - following Jenny Jones' historic bronze in the snowboard equivalent on Sunday - after finishing third in the morning's qualifiers.

But in the afternoon, the 18-year-old fell over after failing to land her first jump, while she made several smaller errors second time around.

Her score of 70.60 - in contrast to her qualifying runs of 81.40 and 84.00 - was only good enough for seventh.

There were some suggestions the course was to blame for her first fall, with the warmer weather making it a little slushy, but the 18-year-old stressed that she is used to these conditions.

"It was something to be conscious about but it wasn't really a problem," she said.

"You had to go a little bit faster but I was alright."

Summerhayes admitted her fall in her first run shook her confidence, but was more irked by not landing a trick properly.

"A little bit, yeah. I had much more pressure on my second run," she said.

"I was a bit annoyed as well because every time I've done that trick - the switch nine (a trick that involves two and a half spins with the competitor landing backward) - I've landed it."

Before Summerhayes set off on her second run, a score of 77.10 would have been enough to move into the bronze medal position.

But while Kim Lamarre would claim third spot with a much higher score, Summerhayes never had any intention of playing it safe.

"I knew that if I put my run down then I was in with a chance of it, but I want to push the sport and do it just for myself," she added.

Dara Howell was in a class of her own as she won the gold medal.

The Canadian topped the standings in qualifying before laying down a brilliant marker in the final with a score of 94.20.

No one came close to matching that, as American Devin Logan earned silver with a distant total of 85.40 and another Canadian Lamarre (85.00) took bronze.

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