Clark and Gold win women's halfpipe qualifiers in Sochi
U.S. Snowboarding veteran Kelly Clark (USA) and up-and-coming talent Arielle Gold (USA) have won the two women qualifier heats of the season's fourth halfpipe World Cup which is staged in Sochi as Olympic test event.
Clark, the 2002 Olympic Gold medalist who took Bronze in 2010, dominated heat 1 with the highest score of the day (90.33).
Her team mate Gold, the reigning FIS Snowboard World Champion did so in heat 2 with 86.33 points.
With Elena Hight and Ellery Hollingsworth two more US girls qualified directly for the finals of the top 12 women scheduled for Thursday.
Holly Crawford (AUS) and Queralt Castellet (ESP) also saved their spots right away.
Twelve more riders will get their chance to take one of the six remaining seats in the semi finals, also taking place tomorrow:
Jiayu Liu (CHN), Ursina Haller (SUI), Torah Bright (AUS), Sophie Rodriguez (FRA), Haruna Matsumoto (JPN) and Mercedes Nicoll (CAN) from heat 1 as well as Cilka Cadar (SLO), Gretchen Bleiler (USA), Yuki Furihata (JPN), Sarka Pancochova (CZE), Kaitlyn Farrington (USA) and Serene Shaw (USA) from heat 2.
Photo: GEPA pictures/Daniel Goetzhaber