Chloe Kim dominates halfpipe qualifiers
She had been entering the PyeongChang 2018 halfpipe event as odds-on favourite for a shot on the podium. But after her today's performance in the two run, best one count qualifiers, the question is: can anyone beat Chloe Kim.
The snowboard sensation from Colorado nailed it in both of her runs, with her first one earning the second highest score of the day (91.50) and her second one simply underlining her legal claim for the title at this year's Olympic Winter Games although the 17-year-old didn't have to throw in what she has in store.
In fact, the first female to land back-to-back 1080's in a contest run made everything look so easy and smooth as a normal training run landing a method, back-to-back 720's, frontside 900 tail, a mctwist indy and a frontside inverted 720 to earn an impressive 95.50.
However, as it's the Olympics, it will be interesting to see how the Californian teenager deals with the pressure. But her first reaction in the finish area did spell trouble for her competitors as Kim actually was only up for some ice cream.
Plus: "I'm always more nervous during qualies. So tomorrow (for the final) I can really focus on what I want to do."
But eleven more riders, including some of the worlds finest, are chafing at the bit hoping to grab a spot on the podium – at best the Gold.
Jiayu Liu (CHN; 87.75) and Haruna Matsumoto (JPN; 84.25) looked strong bringing down solid runs to place second and third, respectively while Maddie Mastro (USA) also confirmed that her outstanding World Cup season so far wasn't a flash in the pan scoring a 83.75.
Queralt Castellet (ESP; 71.50) did her home country proud qualifying fifth while reigning World Champion Xuetong Cai (CHN; 69.00) also earned her spot in big show tomorrow morning.
Sena Tomita (JPN; 66.75), Emily Arthur (AUS; 66.50) as well as French riders Sophie Rodriguez (65.00) and Mirabelle Thovex (64.25) also grabbed their spots.
Kelly Clark (USA; 63.25), the 2002 Olympic Champion enjoying her fifth Olympics as well as her teammate Arielle Gold (62.75) struggled a bit compared to their performances in the lead up to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games but rounded out the top-12 of the three run, best one count finals and should not be underestimated when they drop in first tomorrow morning at 10:00 LOC (2:00 CET).
Men's qualifiers will follow right after the women's finals at 13:00 LOC (8:00 CET).