US riders drop bangers at PyeongChang slopestyle qualifiers
Riders from the US of A have left their stamps on today's qualifiers for the penultimate slopestyle World Cup event which actually serves as official Olympic test event for PyeongChang 2018.
While the currently best ranked riders of the World Cup Chris Corning and Brandon Davis took over the Bokwang Phoenix Park in the men's qualification snatching the top spots in their respective heats, Jamie Anderson was coming back strong from a fall in her second run.
Rider from down under has it all in women's event
However, the 2014 Olympic slopestyle gold medallist had to get in line behind of Kiwi Christy Prior.
The rider from New Zealand locked in the top score of 90.00 in the women's event for a well-executed run consisting of a frontside lipslide, frontside air to backside boardslide, tailtap to drop, frontside rodeo 720 mute, backside 180 mute and a cab 720 indy to finish things off.
Anderson came close with 86.75 for her 50/50 on the high rail to backside air to boardslide 270 out, tailtap to backside 180, cab 540 mute, cab 360 mute and a final frontside 360 but might need to step up her game just a little bit to come out first of the finals which will feature today's top-6 qualifiers.
Her teammates Corning and Davis are also looking extremely comfortable with the course which not only features plenty of jibbing options at the top but also several side hits on the three-kicker line at the bottom.
Corning topped his heat (88.75) with backside 270 on to frontboard 270 out, boardslide to 50/50 270 out, backside 360 handplant to 50/50 frontside 180 out, switch backside 1260 mute, frontside 1080 indy and a final backside 1080 roastbeef edging off Belgium powerhouse Seppe Smits (88.25) to the second rank.
The 2011 world champion had thrown down a backside 270 on to backside boardslide, backside 360 on the hip to 50/50 180 out, frontside 360 tap, switch backside 1080, cab 1260 and a backside 1080 and therefore can get his hopes up for a top result in Korea.
Davis slays the course
But he is not the only one to do so as especially Brandon Davis was literally on fire in the second heat.
Whilst taking off some of his upper clothes for his second run, the winner of the Mammoth GP underlined that he is able to keep the momentum from his career's so far biggest triumph.
The 20-year-old landed a 50/50 ollie to boardslide pretzel out, switch method over the hip to switch lipslide to forward, tailtap to 50/50 frontside 180 out, cab 900 nose, double crippler indy and a backside 1080 double cork to finish things off for a 91.75.
Thanks to this impressive performance Davis is for sure the one to beat in the finals of the top-10 men.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what heat2 runner-up Ville Paumola can do when he gets just a few more runs in.
As the Finnish ripper had arrived late in Korea, he had missed the official training only getting a few runs to adjust himself to the course during yesterday's qualifiers of the freestyle skiers.
However, Paumola rode strong and earned 84.00 for his backside 270 on the downrail, ollie to boardslide 270 out, shifty bonk to 50/50 frontside 180 out, switch backside 900 mute and back-to-back 1080s.
Stay tuned as the story unfolds with finals slated for Sunday, Feb 21st at 1 PM local time (5 AM CET).
Live scoring links can be found here as well as the results of today's qualifiers.
In addition, Eurosport Asia, MCS Extreme in France and NBC Sports (including some live streaming) will broadcast the three-run, best one count final live.