Laffont and Kingsbury lead the way in moguls qualifications
PyeongChang (KOR) - French freestyle skier Perrine Laffont and Canadian moguls star Mikael Kingsbury qualified in style as both chases their first Olympic Winter Games gold medal.
The 25-year-old Kingsbury goes directly into the men’s finals on Monday at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games after top scoring with 86.07 in his first run at Phoenix Snow Park on Friday.
Kinsbruy, the world No.1, won silver at Sochi 2014 and comes into these Games after an 11-month streak of 13 consecutive World Cup victories ended with a second place last month.
"I'm not thinking about the gold," Kingsbury said. "I know it's at the back of my head sometimes when I go to bed, but there are so many steps to go through before winning the gold medal.
"If I don't win, for sure I'll be a bit disappointed. If I do, I will be the happiest man in the world."
Kingsbury has a comfortable margin over the nine other moguls skiers who qualified for the finals.
In second place is Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Aleksandr Smyshliaev (OAR), who scored 83.93.
World champion Ikuma Horishima (JPN) and teammate Daichi Hara (JPN) are also one step closer to winning Asia's first Olympic medal in men's moguls after they qualified in fifth and sixth positions.
While Theocharis was the last to secure instant qualification, countrywoman and world No.3 Perrine Laffont led the ladies' moguls qualification with a score of 79.72.
"I did a great job, a good run, so I'm happy," she said.
The 19-year-old edged out world No.2 Andi Naude (CAN), who scored 79.60, while world No.1 Jaelin Kauf (USA) is also heading directly to the finals on Sunday night after finishing fifth.
"My nerves started to kick in at the top a little bit because of the realisation that this is the Olympics," Kauf said.
Britteny Cox (AUS) also goes directly to the finals after finishing sixth with a score of 76.78. The world No.4 is glad she will have time to work on her run before attacking the finals in two days' time.
"I just watched my run with my coach and there's definitely some things I want to fix up," Cox said.
"I’m really excited to get back on the course and train, and ramp it up a little bit for the finals."
All 30 skiers in the women's event scored runs on Friday, but two skiers in the men's moguls finished the day with no scores: Brodie Summers (AUS) did not start, while Norway's Vinjar Slatten did not finish.
Skiers who did not finish in the top 10 will have another chance in the second qualification round - Sunday for the ladies, Monday for the men - to progress to the finals.