She had been described as a medal hope for the Snowboard Cross but in the end didn’t make it to the final. She came 8th which is still pretty good but she was hoping for better.
She was ranked tenth coming into the event, Gillings, from the Isle of Man, laid down an impressive first qualification run in difficult foggy conditions to qualify eighth fastest for the quarter-finals. She overcame tricky opponents from Austria and Switzerland to finish as runner up in her quarter-final, which secured a safe passage to the semi-finals.
Better luck next time
Gillings, who placed 15th in Turin four years ago, gave everything she had in the semi-final but ultimately was unable to catch the two riders in front of her, which included Norway’s World Champion Helene Olafsen, meaning Gillings finished third and agonisingly missed out on a place in the final.
The semi-final result meant Gillings was due to compete in the small final, which decides fifth to eighth places in the final standings.
Unfortunately for Gillings, an injury suffered to her right knee in the semi-final prevented her from getting any further than the start gate at which point she realised she was unable to compete and therefore ended the competition in eighth place.
Reflecting on her performance Gillings said: “Qualifying went pretty well in tough conditions with the fog and having to wait a long time at the gate.
“The first heat was perfect and then the (semi-final) didn’t go so well. I had a clash of boards at the top and a pretty hard landing halfway down and hurt my knee.
“I could get around the corners after that but I couldn’t hold the pressure around the corners, so I was going into all the bumps on the course and that’s why I didn’t make the final.
“Even standing in the start gate (for the small final) rocking back and forth it wasn’t looking good at all, so I wasn’t going to be able to ride.”
Despite the injury set-back Gillings was in positive mood following the competition and already looking to the future and her next Olympic ambition in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
“I’m pretty happy with top eight. I was trying for a medal as I always do, so I’m disappointed with that but I definitely tried my best.
“I’m just looking forward to the future now. The BOA (British Olympic Association) has been awesome, looking after my programme, revamping the whole thing and really making it into a professional programme and hopefully they’re going to be a lot more involved going forward.”
In the immediate future Gillings is looking forward to supporting her teammates, “It’s been absolutely fantastic being part of Team GB and i’m looking forward to supporting the other athletes now.”