Rowan Cheshire Into Finals | Women’s 2018 Olympic Ski Halfpipe Qualification Results
Canadian Cassie Sharpe comes in first as Team GB's Rowan Cheshire qualifies in ninth
Update: Click here to read the results of the women's ski halfpipe final
The qualifiers see each of the 24 skiers put down two runs, with the best run counting and the top 12 going through to the final, and it all went by-and-large to plan for the favourites.
Cassie Sharpe of Canada finished in first with a score of 93.4 (though her first run of 93.0 would have been enough to win it as well), experienced French skier Marie Martinod put down a 92.0 to finish in second and American Brita Sigourney came third with a 90.6.
Rowan's fellow Team GB rider Molly Summerhayes missed out on a spot in the finals but stuck down an admirable best run of 66.0 which saw her finish in 17th place. It's a promising first Olympics for Molly, and great to see Rowan qualify after a tricky past four years in the sport.
Back in 2014, the 22 year old Rowan Chesire became the first British female skier to win a halfpipe competition on the FIS Freestyle World Cup when she won the halfpipe stop in Calgary, but she's been plagued with injury since - suffering the first of three head injuries in 18 months at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and being forced out the sport for two years after.
She returned to competitive halfpipe in December 2016 and is currently returning from an ankle injury, so it's great to see her reach the finals of the Olympic Games now.
Canadian Cassie Sharpe meanwhile is the only halfpipe skier to have taken two gold medals on the FIS Freestyle Skiing circuit in the 17-18 season so far, so she came into the Winter Olympics as one of a few hot favourites.
Americans Brita Sigourney and Maddie Bowman are also bound to be confident after coming first and second respectively at the most recent FIS Halfpipe in Mammoth Mountain on 19 January. Maddie followed her compatriot Brita into the finals with a 83.80 meaning she qualified in sixth, and talented fellow USA skier Annalisa Drew qualified in fourth as well.
33-year-old French skier Marie Martinod has made a career of being at the right end of the table too. She took the silver in halfpipe at the Sochi Games in 2014, and has won gold since at the X-Games superpipe in 2017. She'll be hoping to build on her qualifying run tomorrow to add another Winter Olympic medal to her tally.
Rowan Cheshire's first run of 74.0 included a big 540, a huge alleyoop, a 900, straight air, 720, switch 360 and another straight air to finish. The big amplitude and bucket of tricks saw her end up in ninth thanks (she scored a lesser 71.40 on her second run) and it was good enough to take her through to finals tomorrow (at 1am Tuesday UK time).
Men's halfpipe skier Murray Buchan, who was in the commentary booth for qualifying in the BBC and will be in action tomorrow, said: "I think Rowan Cheshire can add few things to run that could bump up her score. She is skiing very well."
Molly Summerhayes improved upon an opening run of 60.80 to land a run of 66.0. "I'm so happy," she later said. "That's the best I've ever skied". It might not have been enough to qualify, but it was a really respectable debut from Molly.
The full results from the women's Winter Olympics ski halfpipe qualifying read:
While Katie is funded by UK Sport and has various sponsorship deals though, Molly has to fund her skiing herself by working full time in none other than McDonald's.
Katie was skiing with an injured ankle in the slopestyle final, and admitted on Twitter that she was “gutted" about the result, while her fellow slopestyle skier Isabel Atkin made history - finishing in third place to take bronze and become the first ever Brit to claim a medal on skis.
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