Chloe Kim Tops Snowboarding Halfpipe Qualifying at Olympics 2018

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2018

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09:  Snowboarder Ben Ferguson of the United States practices ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

United States star Chloe Kim was the best of 12 qualifiers into the finals of the ladies snowboarding halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The field began with 24 entrants in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with the best of two runs deciding the finalists field. Kim was the class of the group with the top two runs of the day, posting a score of 95.50 in her second turn. Liu Jiayu of China finished in a distance second place with a score of 87.75.

The 12 remaining athletes will battle for a gold medal Tuesday morning in South Korea (Monday at 8 p.m. ET).

Final Qualifiers Through 2 Runs

1. Chloe Kim (USA) - 95.50

2. Liu Jiayu (CHN) - 87.75

3. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN) - 84.25

4. Maddie Mastro (USA) - 83.75

5. Queralt Castellet (ESP) - 71.50

6. Cai Xuetong (CHN) - 69.00

7. Sena Tomita (JPN) - 66.75

8. Emily Arthur (AUS) - 66.50

9. Sophie Rodriguez (FRA) - 65.00

10. Mirabelle Thovex (FRA) - 64.25

11. Kelly Clark (USA) - 63.25

12. Arielle Gold (USA) - 62.75

Full results available at Olympic.org.

             

Kim was the bright star through the first run, scoring a 91.50 with some impressive tricks:

The 17-year-old followed it up with an even better effort in the second run, scoring a 95.50.

She also showed how relaxed she was by tweeting about her food preferences in between runs:

Kim topped the field seemingly with ease in qualifying, which puts her in great shape for a gold medal if she keeps it going in the finals.

She was just one example of a strong day for the Americans in this event.

Fellow teenager Maddie Mastro also qualified thanks to a strong showing in her first time down. She avoided mistakes but also seemed to be a bit conservative while scoring an 83.75.

Kelly Clark wasn't as consistent, but the third United States representative did enough to reach the finals with a score of 63.25. Unlike the other young athletes in this field, the 34-year-old is in her fifth career Olympic Games and has already won three medals in her career.

She still has the talent to get onto the podium once again, but it will take a better effort in the finals.

This left just Arielle Gold, who put herself on the bubble in 12th place, needing to watch 10 more competitors before knowing her fate. When the final two riders wiped out, it allowed both Clark and Gold to sneak into the final.

Liu and Haruna Matsumoto represented the best of the non-USA athletes, looking like medal contenders after producing high scores.

Assuming the weather holds up, these athletes will be back on the course Monday night (Tuesday morning local) for the final rounds. The best of three runs will decide the winner, which should lead to plenty of drama.

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