Heat one of the women’s slopestyle just went down, veteran Isabel Derungs taking the top spot with a blistering run including a switch back five, back seven and a back rodeo. The judging was a lot more predictable than in the sometimes questionable men’s heats earlier.
The UK’s Jenny Jones grabbed herself 5th place, not quite enough to get her straight to the final, but she got that with her safety run so hopefully she’ll boss it on Sunday.
Aimee Fuller didn’t quite make a full run, bizarrely her backflips on the second jump let her down in both runs, though she might have been bottling out of a double. Again, she could be a threat on Sunday if she gets a bit more consistent, but she played up to the crowd well, claiming everything and even chucking a nollie frontflip off the first knuckle.
Torah Bright grabbed herself second place with two super smooth runs, our favourite hit being her styled out switch back one on the first kicker.
The other two automatic finals spots were taken by Spencer O’Brien and Enni Rukajarvi, so the top four ended up full of old hands.
Potential whipper snappers Christy Prior and Rebecca Torr didn’t quite make their full runs, so again we’ll hopefully see better from them in the semis on Sunday.
The biggest slam has to go to Kjersti Buaas for a huge back one that ended with her landing and crumpling near the very bottom of the run out.
Heat two saw more veterans push through to the top spots, Anna Gasser and Jamie Anderson took the one and two. Perhaps it was to do with the sheer size of the course, or maybe the enormity of the event, but the old hands generally kept steady.
The surprises of the day came from Silje Nordenhal letting nerves get to her and finishing in an unusual eighth position, but if she can stick a clean run in the semis including her signature front todeo 7 she’ll definitely make the finals.
Cheryl Maas also failed to qualify but managed to make the first gay-rights statement of the games by wazing some rather fetching rainbow unicorn gloves in the camera.
The relatively unknown Karly Shorr managed to sneak into the finals automatically by way of her last run, the penultimate one of the day. Her jumps included a switch back 5, a back 3 Japan(ish) grab, and a mega back 1 to finish.
In a day where not many of the rail sections stood out for the girls, Elana Koenz stuck a switch back 180 into a front 7 before ending with a stylee back 3 on her first run to place third, but in a different class Jamie Anderson took second with the most confident jumps of the day; switch back 5, back 5 then a ridiculous cab 5, all huge. The only quibble we had was that she didn’t take a second run, bit of a party popper really…
But it was Anna Gasser who took the top qualifying spot with a well-deserved score of 95.50 and possibly our favourite trick of the day; a ginormous cab underflip taken almost all the way to the bottom of the landing.
It was great watching the girls take to the course; after the whirly bird spins and triples of the men’s heats it was amazing watching super slow spins over the huge Sochi jumps.
Sunday morning will see them get back on the course, we reckon Cheryl Maas, Jenny Jones, Sarka Pancochova, Silje Nordenhal and of course Aimee Fuller will be the ones to look out for when they fight it out for the last four spots in the final.