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Winter Olympics: Billy Morgan wins Great Britain’s record fifth medal in Pyeongchang

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XXIII Olympic Winter Games

Venue: Pyeongchang, Sou..

By admin , in UK , at February 24, 2018

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XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

Billy Morgan won bronze in the men's snowboard big air to secure Great Britain their highest medal tally in Winter Olympics history.

The medal for Morgan, 28, is Team GB's fifth in Pyeongchang, taking them past the four medals won in 1924 and 2014.

It follows a skeleton gold for Lizzy Yarnold as well as bronze medals for Dom Parsons, Laura Deas and Izzy Atkin.

Canada's Sebastien Toutant won gold with a score of 174.25 while United States' Kyle Mack took silver.

Morgan fell on his first jump but responded with 82.50 on run two and 85.50 on his final run – after landing a front-side 14 triple with mute and tail-grab which he had never succeeded in doing so in competition before.

He becomes the first British man to win a Winter Olympic medal on snow and only the third Briton after Jenny Jones and Izzy Atkin.

"I can't believe it. I didn't think I'd make the podium and I was just stoked to make the final," he told BBC Sport.

"I just wanted to put a show down and I was worried after the first jump that I wasn't going to land anything but managed to land my next two jumps and walked away with a medal."

Morgan, from Southampton, finished just 0.75 off silver and his medal was confirmed when Canadian favourite Max Parrot crashed on his final jump.

Asked how it felt to be an Olympic medallist, Morgan added: "It's not sunk in yet, it's wild."

Morgan had been struggling with a knee injury this season and Matt McCormick had been brought to the Olympics as back-up had he not been able to compete in slopestyle and big air.

"I'm 28 years old and I've maxed the limit of what my body can be scared about," he said.

"It's the best feeling, the pay off after you do something you are scared about and you land on your feet, that's why we do this.

"For that last trick I pushed it all the fear to one side, I was like even if I completely wreck myself it doesn't matter, I'm just going to go and do it. "

The bronze also sees Great Britain reach UK Sport's pre-Games minimum target of five medals.

It is Team GB's second snowboarding Winter Olympic medal, following bronze for Jenny Jones in Sochi in 2014.

UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger said she was "delighted" the British team had reached the medal target.

"I hope that everyone watching at home will be inspired by what they have seen over the past couple of weeks," she added.

The 'veteran' medal winner at 28

Billy Morgan

Morgan was the oldest snowboarder competing in the final with all but one of the rest of the field aged 25 or under.

He was an acrobat as a youngster and did not take up snowboarding until the age of 14 – at a dry ski slope in Southampton – while his first full winter on snow came when he was 17, the age of fellow big air finalist Red Gerard won gold in slopestyle earlier in these Games.

Morgan was the first snowboarder to perform a triple backside rodeo trick, involving three mid-air rotations, and to land a backside 1,800 quadruple cork – four flips and five full rotations – but his best major result was a bronze at the 2014 European X Games.

He finished 10th at the Winter Olympics in Sochi but had his right knee reconstructed two years later and struggled with a left knee injury last year which hampered his training in the run up to Pyeongchang.


BBC Sport snowboard commentator Ed Leigh

In exactly the same way Jenny Jones worked so hard and was able to crown an impressive career with the glory of an Olympic medal, Billy Morgan has done the same.

He's pioneered so many tricks but as struggled for that core acceptance from the sport. He's come here and landed two breathtaking tricks to land a bronze medal. He has defied the odds.

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