Torah’s prospects for Winter Games not looking so bright
Torah Bright’s hopes of qualifying for next month’s Winter Olympics are slim after the snowboarding great fell short of the required World Cup top-10 finish at a meet in the US.
The Australian Olympic gold and silver medallist finished 15th in the preliminary stage of the halfpipe event in Snowmass, Colorado, to miss the eight-person final.
The 31-year-old, who has seldom competed since the 2014 Sochi Olympics, must now rely on a top-10 result at the World Cup event in Switzerland next week for the chance to compete in PyeongChang.
But her participation at a fourth Olympics in South Korea still won’t be guaranteed, with compatriots Emily Arthur and Holly Crawford also in the running for Australia’s two berths.
Bright began her PyeongChang campaign last month with a gold and silver medal in the second-tier Nor-Am Cup in Colorado.
She produced runs scoring 43.75 and 55.75 on Thursday, well behind American pacesetter Arielle Gold, who was awarded 91 points for her best run. Arthur and Crawford also missed the final after finishing 12th and 14th respectively.
In the men’s competition, Australian world champion Scotty James qualified fourth for the 10person final, where he will meet an in-form Shaun White as the American legend warms up for a crack at a third Olympic gold medal.
James and White will be among the favourites for PyeongChang, with the latter topping qualification with a score of 95 to follow his World Cup bronze medal at Copper Mountain last month.
Also at Snowmass, Australia’s Tess Coady qualified sixth for the snowboard slopestyle final.
Elsewhere, world champion Britt Cox continued her solid preOlympics campaign with a seventh placing at the moguls World Cup event in Deer Valley, Utah.
Fellow Australian Jakara Anthony scored the best World Cup finish of her career with fifth.
Australian world No 3 Matt Graham reached the men’s final after qualifying 13th.
Torah Bright in action in Snowmass, Colorado