Winter Olympics: NZ snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott wins big air bronze medal

Wanaka teen Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has broken New Zealand's 26-year drought at the Winter Olympics with a bronze medal in the snowboard big air.

The 16-year-old notched - to that point - the best individual score of the day with a 92.00 in the second of her three runs.

That performance put her briefly into second and she entered the final round in third, still with a chance for better.

Sadowski-Synnott shares the podium with Austria's Anna Gasser and American Jamie Anderson.
Sadowski-Synnott shares the podium with Austria's Anna Gasser and American Jamie Anderson. Photo credit: Getty

But Sadowski-Synnott was unable to improve her total score with her last attempt, but watched as her closest rivals also stumbled with the pressure on.

Austrian Anna Gasser stole the gold medal from American Jamie Anderson with the final jump of the competition - her 96.00 was the only score better than the Kiwi's second round.

Earlier in the week, Sadowski-Synnott had qualified for the final in fifth position, but had hinted at her potential with another 92.00 score for her switch backside 900.

"I'm over the moon," she said at the time. "I've never landed that trick before in competition. I'm just so happy."

The switchback 900 which scored the Kiwi a huge score of 92.00.
The switchback 900 which scored the Kiwi a huge score of 92.00. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand's only previous Winter Olympics medal came in 1992, when skiier Annalise Coberger catpured a slalom silver at Albertville.

Since then, we've managed many close-but-no-cigar fourth-place finishes, including two already at PyeongChang.

Speed skater Peter Michael was just outside the medals in the 5000 metres, while he combined with Shane Dobbin and Rayon Kay for fourth again in the team pursuit.

New Zealand skiers Byron Wells, Beau-James Wells and Nico Poerteous have a great chance to add to the medal tally later Thursday, when they contest the men’s halfpipe final.

Byron Wells qualified fourth, with brother Beau-James a spot behind.

Newshub.