Dominating women of last years win halfpipe qualifiers at Sochi
US veteran and 2002 Olympic Gold medalist Kelly Clark (USA) as well as reigning Olympic Halfpipe Champion Torah Bright (AUS) have impressed spectators and judges in today's qualifier heats for the women's halfpipe event of the XXII Olympic Winter Games.
Clark put the pressure on her competitors in heat one with a frontside air to huge backside 540, frontside 1080, cab 720, frontside 540 and a backside air thus setting the bar with 95.00.
The 30-year-old, who has been an inspiration to the most of her younger rivals, underlined her claim for another medal at her fourth Olympics but first of all was happy to make another final:
"Experience goes a long way but it never gets easier. You acknowledge that you are nervous and move on. Making my fourth Olympic Games finals is the greatest moment of my life.
It's an absolute privilege and an honour. I didn't think I'd still be doing this at 30. A 30-year-old veteran, that's worth a laugh,” she said.
While the Halfpipe World Cup title winner moved on to the finals together with Queralt Castellet (SPA) and Sophie Rodriguez (FRA) from heat 1, Torah Bright led the second heat with 93.00.
The rider from down under threw down a technical and super stylish run consisting of a backside 540 with a nice late tweak to air to fakie, cab 720, frontside 540, alley oop frontside 360 and an alley oop backside 360 to finish things off.
Rank two went to Hannah Teter, the third Olympic halfpipe Gold medalist (2006) in the women's field who had stomped a massive backside air to frontside 540, backside 540, back-to-back 720's, frontside air and a backside 900 proving that she is also on top of her game.
The sixth rider to directly advance to the finals scheduled for tonight at 6:30 PM CET was Xuetong Cai from China.
The semi finals will take place at 4 PM CET this afternoon were the following twelve riders will fight for one of the remaining six spots for the finals of the best 12 ladies:
Shuang Li (CHN), Ursina Haller (SUI), Zhifeng Sun (CHN), Alexandra Duckworth (CAN), Sarka Pancochova (CZE), Stephanie Magiros (AUS), all from heat 1 with Kaitlyn Farrington (USA), Jiayu Liu (CHN), Mirabelle Thovex (FRA), Rana Okada (JPN), Clemence Grimal (FRA) and Katie Tsuyuki (CAN) joining them from heat 2.