Lowly placing does not reduce Machon’s delight

HAPPY DAY: Sheffield's James Machon  in the Men's Ski Halfpipe at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, Sochi. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA
HAPPY DAY: Sheffield's James Machon in the Men's Ski Halfpipe at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, Sochi. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA
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SHEFFIELD’s James Machon says an equipment glitch and a technical error did not dilute his elation at making his Winter Olympic debut in Sochi.

Eight months ago Machon broke down with a knee injury and feared that he would not make his maiden appearance at the Winter Olympics, but yesterday he competed and finished 23rd in the freestyle skiing halfpipe event.

Machon is made of strong stuff and battled back to full fitness in impressive style, making his first World Cup appearance since recovering in Colorado in December.

He did enough thereafter to earn selection for his Olympic debut, when the moment came he had to face adversity again, this time in the shape of heavy snow and an equipment failure.

Machon scored his highest mark of 52.20 from his second run, making a technical error on his first to earn 37.40, at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

But he insisted nothing could take the shine off his moment at the Games.

“I was out most of last season and it was looking virtually impossible to make the Olympics eight months ago,” he said.

“I worked really hard on my rehab and everything has paid off and I am really happy with how it has gone. I’ve got a few more competitions lined up this season so, hopefully, I can build on this, and everything goes well. I definitely want to go to the next Winter Olympics and aim for a medal.”

Elsewhere on day 11, David Murdoch’s double take-out final stone fired Britain into the men’s curling semi-finals, while Elise Christie stormed into the last eight of the short track 1,000m.

Murdoch’s high-pressure stone secured a last-end 6-5 tie-break win over Norway and a semi-final meeting against Sweden on Friday, when Britain’s women will also be in last-four action against Canada.

Christie, meanwhile, secured an impressive victory in her 1,000m heat, starting cautiously at the back of the field, making her move to lead and then skating away from her rivals.

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