Torah Bright begins epic journey with cruise into final

Australian reigning halfpipe champion Torah Bright on Thursday cruised into the Olympic slopestyle final as she embarks on an unprecedented treble quest.

Men's snowboard star Shaun White of the US may have considered it too taxing to tackle both his favoured halfpipe event and slopestyle, pulling out of the latter on Wednesday, but Aussie Bright has no such qualms.

And the 27-year-old, a two-time superpipe X-Games winner, made no mistakes in finishing second in her qualification heat with 85.25 points.

"I have a long journey ahead of me here," said Bright. "To make it straight to the finals is great. I have taken on a unique journey, I don't know the future but I want to show the world the sport of snowboarding."

Bright is defending her halfpipe title and will also compete in snowboard cross.

Swiss Isabel Derungs won the first heat with 87.50 while Canadian Spencer O'Brien (82.75), the 2013 slopestyle world champion, and Finland's Enni Rukajarvi (79.00) also qualified directly for the final.

Four-time X-Games winner Jamie Andersen of the US did not even take her second run in the second heat after she posted a 93.50 in the first run to ease into the final.

She was pipped to first place in the heat by Austria's Anna Gasser (95.50), while Elena Koenz (86.25) of Switzerland and American Karly Shorr (84.75) also progressed.

The top four from each heat qualified directly for Sunday's final while the other competitors will face off again earlier Sunday in the semi-finals, with the top four completing the 12-woman final field.


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