Olympics-Snowboarding-Sochi course 'dangerous,' says Ireland's O'Connor

Reuters

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Irish snowboarder Seamus O'Connor has described the course for the Sochi Olympics as "pretty dangerous" and called for changes to be made to avoid injuries.

Speaking after his first training runs at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, where he will compete in the half-pipe and slopestyle events, O'Connor urged his fellow competitors to speak out.

"It's pretty dangerous at the moment," the 16-year-old was quoted as saying in the Irish Times newspaper. "I think it's definitely going to be a problem for the women."

U.S.-born O'Connor represents the best chance of a first ever Winter Games medal for Ireland having turned professional and signed a sponsorship deal with Nike at the age of just 13.

"The riders need to speak up about the conditions," he added. "The rails can't be fixed but they can fix the jumps.

"We may see some injuries. I hope not, but the whole course is variable as it is."

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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