Ben’s Sochi medal hopes are ended

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Local hopes for a golden moment at the Sochi Winter Olympics iced over this week after Ben Kilner crashed out of his event.

Ben, from Banchory, and GB teammate Dom Harington were both in the halfpipe event, failing to qualify for the finals after finishing 16th and 20th in their qualification heat.

Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, Switzerland’s Christian Haller and his compatriot David Habluetzel took the top three spots and go straight through to the final.

France’s Arthur Longo, Slovakia’s Tim-Kevin Ravnjak, China’s Wancheng Shi, America’s Gregory Bretz, Ireland’s Seamus O’Connor and France’s Johann Baisamy, finished between fourth and ninth and will compete again in the semi final.

The BBC commentators said what was on everyone’s mind: “It’s a real shame, Ben is one of the nicest men you could possibly hope to meet.”

Support for Ben flooded in from all over the globe before the event on Facebook.

Sandra Thomas Lapsley said: “8.45pm on Tuesday evening watching it live in Brissie, QLD, Australia ... Go Ben!”

Ben attempted to go big with an aerial out the pipe but caught himself on the landing.

He said: “It didn’t quite go how I planned.

‘‘I was really trying to push it but everything just got the better of me.

“I only just kept it together on the first run but the conditions are bumpy and it was tough to hang on.

“I always put a lot of pressure on myself and the nerves were fine.

‘‘I was in good spirits and tried to enjoy the moment. I’m a bit gutted, to say the least.”

But Ben was optimistic about his future as an Olympian: “Pyeongchang is only four years away and I want to be there. I just need to put in some hard graft to get that same feeling that Jenny Jones did.”