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Women’s halfpipe a hit among Aussies

12 February 2018

SNOWBOARD HALFPIPE: Australia’s female snowboard halfpipe riders are ready to bring their all to the PyeongChang Olympics qualification round on Day 3 of the 2018 Games.

Debutant Emily Arthur said three solid days of training at the Phoenix Snow Park venue had put her and teammate Holly Crawford in good stead for the competition.

“I’ve never had three days of training before an event and it was really nice (because) the first day we could just get used to the pipe and the next two we did our tricks,” she said.

“It’s been a really good lead up and I think it’s going to be a really good event tomorrow.”

Both women will compete in the snowboard women’s halfpipe qualification round from 1.30pm local time (3.30pm AEST).

They’ll compete in a field of 24, including World Cup overall leader Chloe Kim (US), and 2014 Sochi Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Clark (US).

Yet her competitors do not intimidate Arthur. At the Olympic Test Event in PyeongChang in February 2017, Arthur finished 10th, while Crawford placed 13th. More recently Arthur claimed sixth at the Secret Garden World Cup in China in December.

“It’s really similar to how the pipe was last year so hopefully we can replicate if not do better on last year’s results,” Arthur said.

“It’s the best pipe I’ve ever ridden and I’ve ridden a lot of pipes.

"It was weird going into it because…I’ve literally never ridden a pipe that’s so perfect so it’s going to be great.”

One slight difference is the length of the pipe – at 265m it is longer than many other pipes giving athletes an added opportunity to throw tricks and secure more points from the judges.

Arthur said she had figured out the timing of her hits and was looking forward to a fierce competition from tomorrow.

“I’ve figured it out… The amplitude is good, I’ve been able to spread out my tricks and I think it’s all turned out fine,” she said.

“I try not to watch too much but I watch my friends and my friends are all riding really well.

“Girls’ snowboarding has come a really long way in the past four years and I think it’s going to be a really good show tomorrow.

“We’re all going to be throwing down and it’s going to be a bit of a battle but it’s going to be good.”

The women’s qualification round will be held at 1.30pm local time on Day 3 (February 12) and the men kick off on Day 4 (February 13).

Candice Keller
olympics.com.au

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