Gillings reaches Olympic semi-final

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The Independent Online

Britain's Zoe Gillings booked a place in the women's snowboard cross semi-finals on Cypress Mountain.

In her quarter-final Gillings, ranked 11th in the SBX World Cup standings this season, finished second behind Swiss Mellie Francon to ensure a semi-final spot.

Gillings, from the Isle of Man, had qualified in eighth place for the last 16 despite a second run fall. Her first run time of one minute, 27.93 seconds was enough to take her through.

The qualifying session had been delayed by two hours as fog enveloped the Cypress Mountain course and Gillings had to wait even longer when she was held at the gate as the mist rolled in again.

Visibility was still far from perfect on some sections of the course when she did start but her time was good enough for Gillings to bail out of her second run following her fall rather than record a time and she did not stop to talk to reporters before heading back to the start line to prepare for the quarter-finals.

Francon clocked the two fastest times of the qualification run, her first effort in 1:24.43 the quicker of the pair, ahead of American Lindsey Jacobellis (1:25.41) with Canada's Maelle Ricker third fastest in 1:25.45.

Jacobellis complained about the long wait to get the run under way.

"Why did I wake up at 5:30 and wait around for two hours when I could have been sleeping?" Jacobellis said.

"It's not really fun to hang around and wait. You don't know if it's going to happen or not."