US athletes on top in men's halfpipe qualifiers

20 February 2018 16:20
Kevin Rolland competing in halfpipe qualifications
Kevin Rolland competing in halfpipe qualifications -
Agence Zoom

PyeongChang (KOR) - In the men's ski halfpipe, defending Olympic champion David Wise (USA) and his teammates Aarona Blunck, Alex Ferreira and Torin Yater-Wallace have all qualified for the final to set up a potential US medal sweep.

Wise qualified in eighth and admitted to being shaken by another competitor's fall, while Blunck qualified at the top of the group, followed by Ferreira and Yater-Wallace respectively.

"I'm so beyond stoked. It's definitely the most nervous I've ever been (before I was) about to drop in. I was just freaking out up top and said to myself, 'Whatever happens, happens'." Blunck said.

Brothers Byron and Beau-James Wells (NZL), who qualified just behind the US trio, are one step closer to winning New Zealand's first Olympic Winter Games medal in 26 years.

"I had three goals for this event," Byron Wells said. The first was make it to the starting line, and I did that. To make finals was number two, so I've done that. "Now I've just got final gold to go."

The men's ski halfpipe final begins at 11:30 at Phoenix Snow Park on Thursday.