Chloe Kim Tops Snowboarding Halfpipe Qualifying at Olympics 2022

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 9, 2022

ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA - FEBRUARY 09: Chloe Kim of United States performs a trick on a practice run during the Women's Snowboard Halfpipe Qualification on Day 5 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Genting Snow Park on February 09, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Chloe Kim will be defending her halfpipe gold medal from the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in the women's Halfpipe final on Wednesday. Her United States teammates Maddie Mastro, Tessa Maud and Zoe Kalapos won't be joining her. 

Kim finished with the top overall score in Tuesday's Halfpipe qualifying at the Beijing Olympics, an impressive 87.75 that was four points higher second-place qualifier Mitsuki Ono of Japan. 

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

CHLOE KIM with a churro-worthy first run. 👏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WinterOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WinterOlympics</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WatchWithUS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WatchWithUS</a><br><br>📺 <a href="https://twitter.com/nbc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nbc</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/USA_Network?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USA_Network</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> <br>💻 <a href="https://t.co/2G2aUmjS5U">https://t.co/2G2aUmjS5U</a> <a href="https://t.co/5TgiAetrez">pic.twitter.com/5TgiAetrez</a>

Kim did fall on her second run, but it didn't matter—her first score was plenty to earn her the top spot in the final.

"I was really nervous my first run because we're at the Olympics, but I'm so happy I put one down," she said on the NBC broadcast. "I just wanted to mess around on my second run, try something I've never really done before, so I'm surprised I made it that far, but yeah, I'm stoked."

Team USA @TeamUSA

The spotlight is shining bright on <a href="https://twitter.com/ChloeKim?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChloeKim</a> right now! ✨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WinterOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WinterOlympics</a> <br> <a href="https://t.co/zpsCC5xoQy">pic.twitter.com/zpsCC5xoQy</a>

But while Kim looks primed to earn her second straight gold in the event, Mastro just missed the cut with a score of 65.75, finishing 13th. Only the top 12 finishers qualified for the final. 

And Maud (53.50) and Kalapos (51.75) finished 16th and 17th, respectively. 

The final standings after two qualifying runs stood as follows:

  1. Kim, United States: 87.75
  2. Ono, Japan: 83.75
  3. Xuetong Cai, China: 83.25
  4. Queralt Castellet, Spain: 78.75
  5. Sena Tomita, Japan: 75.75
  6. Ruki Tomita, Japan: 74.25
  7. Jiayu Liu, China: 72.25
  8. Berenice Wicki, Switzerland: 71.50
  9. Elizabeth Hosking, Canada: 70.50
  10. Brooke Dhondt, Canada: 70.00
  11. Leilani Ettel, Germany: 68.75
  12. Leng Qiu, China: 66.25

Liu's seventh-place finish was something of a surprise, as she won the silver medal in 2018. And Mastro's failure to qualify for the final was a major shocker:

John Branch @JohnBranchNYT

Kim's score holds up as the best of the day. The biggest surprise is the heartbreak for Maddie Mastro, another Californian with designs on a gold medal. She struggled in both runs and her score just got bumped to 13th -- out of the final.

Nick Zaccardi @nzaccardi

Maddie Mastro, the only woman to beat Chloe Kim in the last four years, does not make the 12-woman halfpipe final.

Alyssa Roenigk @alyroe

Wow. American Maddie Mastro will not make snowboard halfpipe finals. One of the few women who can challenge Chloe Kim for gold, Mastro struggled in qualifiers and finished just outside the top 12. Kim qualified 1st and is the only U.S. rider in finals. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/olympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#olympics</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/snowboard?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#snowboard</a>

"I was not really stoked on that," Mastro said after finishing her second run. "I did my first three hits, and they went well, and then, yeah, the rest of the run did not. I don't know what happened, it just didn't happen and—yeah, not so stoked on how that happened, but that's OK, on to the next."