Canada's Mikael Kingsbury finished atop the leaderboard at the first qualification run in the men's moguls event on Thursday night, posting a score of 86.07.
That topped Aleksandr Smyshliaev of the Olympic Athletes of Russia (83.93) and Dmitriy Reikherd of Kazakhstan (81.23). Troy Murphy finished with the top result amongst the United States' participants, meanwhile, finishing fourth with a score of 80.95.
The remainder of the top 10—who all qualified for the first final on Feb. 12—finished as follows:
- 5. Ikuma Horishima (JPN), 80.35
- 6. Daichi Hara (JPN), 80.01
- 7. Pavel Kolmakov (KAZ), 79.98
- 8. Philippe Marquis (CAN), 77.77
- 9. Matt Graham (AUS), 77.28
- 10. Sacha Theocharis (FRA), 76.55
Complete results available at Olympic.org.
The remainder of the skiers who didn't finish in the top 10 still have the opportunity to qualify for the finals, as the second qualifying round on Feb. 12 will give another 10 athletes the opportunity to qualify. That means Americans like Casey Andringa, Bradley Wilson and Emerson Smith are still alive.
But the story of the first qualifier was Team Canada. Kingsbury, the 2014 Olympics silver medalist who was the favorite in this event coming into the Pyeongchang Games, got off to an excellent start. Philippe Marquis, who is skiing despite tearing his right ACL about a month ago, is somehow in the running himself.
"I'm OK but not great," he told CBC Sports on Tuesday. "I'll be competing but obviously not the way I would have liked which is tough to accept after four years of hard work. The simple fact that I'm here after tearing my ACL ligament on Jan. 8 is [a] straight-up miracle."
Indeed it is. But Marquis is obviously up for the challenge.
"The bumps are big and tight but I expect it will get better every day with some skiing and traffic," he said, breaking down the course. "It will be a great challenge for me and I'll have to be extremely smart with my decision making. I'll probably have to adjust my speed and jumps accordingly."
He did so well enough to earn himself an automatic spot in the finals.