To­rah’s prospects for Win­ter Games not look­ing so bright

The Weekend Australian - - SPORT - AAP

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.

AFP

To­rah Bright in action in Snow­mass, Colorado

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