You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Back injury delays Winter Olympics bid

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/01/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">New Zealand slopestyle freeskier Anna Willcox's qualifying bid for next year's Winter Olympics has been halted briefly by a couple of cracked vertebrae.</span> © REUTERS/Dylan Martinez New Zealand slopestyle freeskier Anna Willcox's qualifying bid for next year's Winter Olympics has been halted briefly by a couple of cracked vertebrae. Slopestyle freeskier Anna Willcox's run-in to next year's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics has hit a speed bump ahead of the first qualifying event in France.

The 24-year-old Aucklander, who finished 15th in her first Winter Olympics three years ago in Sochi, won't contest the World Cup event at Font Romeu after crashing out in training.

She fractured two vertebrae in the fall, but should be back on the slopes within four to six weeks.

Willcox posted a pre-crash picture on her Instagram account with the caption "ready for action".

"Unfortunately, a little too much action. I took a huge slam yesterday and broke a few vertebrae in my back," she said.

"Got air lifted to hospital but fortunate to be walking away...(slowly) from this one."

Willcox, whose father Hamish coaches New Zealand's Olympic gold medal-winner 49er crew of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, is one of a strong contingent of Kiwi athletes chasing Olympic qualifying points.

Wanaka's Jossi Wells successfully navigated the qualifying rounds against a stacked field in Font Romeu, finishing fourth in his heat to easily make the 16-strong final.

He finished 10th overall in Sunday's final (NZT), totalling 85 points on his second run, with US skier McRae Williams taking gold on 92.80.

Wells, 26, was just outside the medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, finishing fourth in the freeski halfpipe and 11th in slopestyle.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon