Emily Arthur qualifies for PyeongChang 2018 winter Olympics halfpipe final

Finals bound: Woronora Heights snowboarder Emily Arthur. Picture: AAP
Finals bound: Woronora Heights snowboarder Emily Arthur. Picture: AAP

Emily Arthur has made it a winter Olympic debut to remember after qualifying for the final of the women’s halfpipe.

The Woronora Heights snowboarder finished in eighth place in qualification on Monday afternoon, overcoming some early nerves in her first run to secure a place in Tuesday’s final.

The top 12 competitors of the 24-woman field, which included American stars Chloe Kim and Sochi 2014 bronze medalist Kelly Clark, would advance to the finals with their best score from two runs. 

Arthur made a nervy start to her first Olympic campaign, with a decent opening run ruined by a fall right at the end of the pipe.

That meant a throw away score of 30.25 which left her in 15th position and needing to produce a high quality performance in her second run to qualify for the finals.

But produce it she did.

An impressive second run saw the 18-year-old pick up a 66.50 which allowed her to climb to sixth spot. It left a nervous wait as almost the entire field still had to complete their second runs.

But a dip to eighth position was as far as Arthur would fall as she advanced to the final in her Olympic debut.

“I’m glad I finally put one down. I’m happy with that,” Arthur said.

“[It was] a little bit [nerves in my first run]. I don’t know why I fell. But it’s all good.”

Fellow Australian Holly Crawford just missed out on a finals place in her fourth Olympics, finishing in 13th place. Crawford was 10th after her first run but a fall on her second run left her in 12th place. Americans Clark and Arielle Gold slipped past Crawford to claim 11th and 12th.

Earlier, Kim stole the show to qualify in first place with a pair of incredible opening runs scoring 91.50 and 95.50. 

The women’s halfpipe final is on Tuesday at 1pm (AEDT).

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