Woods not fully fit for medal quest

James Woods is still recovering from injury but is fit enough to compete in Thursday's Winter Olympics ski slopestyle

James Woods is still recovering from injury but is fit enough to compete in Thursday's Winter Olympics ski slopestyle

First published in National Sport News © by

James Woods is "not 100 per cent" after suffering an injury in training last week, but is determined to give his all in Thursday's Winter Olympics ski slopestyle.

Sheffield-born Woods had been one of the favourites to earn a medal for Britain in Sochi, but injured his hip following a fall last Friday and was unable to train over the weekend as a precaution.

The 22-year-old was able to practice normally in the final training session on Wednesday and is keen on making his mark at the event which is making its debut at a Games, despite being short of full fitness.

"(The injury) happened on the course about a week ago. It was a run of bad decisions from myself and rather than landing smoothly I took a bit of a slam," he said.

"I'm not 100 per cent and certain motions do hurt but everyone is carrying something and this is a gnarly sport to do.

"It's never going to be perfect, you just have to do the best you can to perform as well as you can.

"Slopestyle is an extreme sport and everyone accepts the risk when they drop in and I'm not blaming anything else or anyone else but myself."

Woods could become the first ever person to earn a medal in the four major ski slopestyle competitions - the Olympics, X Games, X Games Europe and world championship - if he can claim a podium position at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

He was coy when asked about his chances, but is relishing the chance to compete.

"I don't know what it will take (to get a podium place) but it's going to be an amazing show," said Woods, who won bronze at the 2011 X Games Europe and at the 2013 X Games and took silver at the 2013 world championship.

"I'm excited to be a part of this team, it's something I will cherish forever. I want to get out there and give my absolute all, whether it's battling myself or everyone else in the field."

The reigning World Cup champion missed out on a place in the final of this year's prestigious X Games and although he was initially shocked at the decision, he has revealed he is in a much calmer mood.

"I was disappointed, I was devastated," he told Press Association Sport.

"It was right before here but I'm certainly not going to let it influence anything that I'm doing.

"Take it as an experience, take it on the chin and learn from it. I'm happy, I'm over it now."

Woods last week hailed the controversial slopestyle course as "amazing", although the warmer weather has since made it a little softer.

The Yorkshireman was still happy to give it the thumbs up, however, saying: "I don't think the course has changed a great deal.

"It has got warmer, so the landings are softer, which is good and bad. No-one can control the weather and, in general, it's a good course."

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