Competition is underway on the "best slopestyle ever" course in Phoenix Park, South Korea.
One of the biggest stories in skiing this week is the incredible slopestyle course built for the pre-Olympic test event at Phoenix Park in South Korea. Today 42 male and 21 female competitors dropped in for two qualifying runs, hoping to navigate this unique slopestyle well enough to earn a spot in the finals, which take place on Saturday, February 20.
Photo courtesy of Luca Tribondeau – check his blog to see more
On the men’s side, the top five from each of two heats advanced to the finals. Felix Stridsberg-Osterud of Norway and Jesper Tjäder of Sweden won their respective heats, with Tjäder posting the highest score of the day, a 92. On the women’s side, Tiril S. Christiansen led the field with a dominant 90.4.
“The level was REALLY high today,” reported Finnish competitor Joona Kangas, who had trouble on both his runs and came in place 32. “There’s so many options to pick, and a lot of special lines, and that’s what I think is the best thing about this course. It makes the riders really think about how to ride the course differently from other skiers’ lines.”
Fabian Bösch, who qualified third in Heat 1, agreed with Kangas. “The level was high, even more so in the second heat,” said Bösch, referencing the heat where four riders—his Swiss countrymen Andri Ragettli, Jonas Hunziker and Kai Mahler, as well as Canadian Teal Harle—all failed to qualify despite posting scores above 87.00.
The high qualifying scores indicate that this challenge of a course is working out well for the skiers who have successfully adapted their riding to the new features.
“The course is pretty difficult, but still nice to ride,” added Bösch. “It will definitely be an exciting final!”
“Qualifying today was the best I’ve ever seen for a qualifying event,” said American Nick Goepper, who placed 20th. “No one held back on their runs. The strongest survive!”
Here are the qualification results—keep checking back for more updates on this one-of-a-kind slopestyle event.
Men’s Qualifying Results
1. Felix STRIDSBERG-OSTERUD 90.80
2. Øystein BRÅTEN 88.80
3. Fabian BÖSCH 87.20
4. Noah WALLACE 85.80
5. Henrik HARLAUT 84.80
1. Jesper TJÄDER 92.00
2. McRae WILLIAMS 91.00
3. Alex BELLEMARE 90.00
4. Josiah WELLS 89.60
5. Evan MCEACHRAN 88.60
Women’s Qualifying Results
1. Tiril SJÅSTAD CHRISTIANSEN 90.40
2. Katie SUMMERHAYES 82.20
3. Dara HOWELL 76.40
4. Emma DAHLSTROM 75.20
5. Maggie VOISIN 74.00
Full qualifying results – Women
Full qualifying results – Men