SOCHI, February 6. /ITAR-TASS/. With less than a day left before the official opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games in Russia’s Sochi, snowboarders clashed in their Olympic competition hitting the trail at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in men’s slopestyle qualifiers on Thursday.
The qualifiers consisted of two heats and in each one of them slopestylers had two runs. Eight snowboarders, four out of each heat, were qualified straight to the final, while the rest will continue their competition for the Olympic victory in the semifinals.
Alexey Sobolev, the only Russian competing in slopestyle, finished in 10th place out of 15 athletes snowboarding in the first heat. Judges awarded the 22-year-old snowboarder with 63 points in the second run and he qualified for the semifinals.
The four snowboarders, who after the first heat qualified straight to the final, are Staale Sandbech of Norway, Peetu Piiroinen of Finland, Sebastien Toutant of Canada and Jamie Nicholls from Great Britain.
The second heat of the qualifiers, which included 14 slopestylers, saw Maxence Parrot of Canada, Roope Tonteri of Finland, Sven Thorgren of Sweden and Norway’s Gjermund Braaten qualifying for the final.
The Olympic final and the semifinals in men’s slopestyle, which is the new event to the Winter Olympics starting this year, are scheduled for Saturday and it will be the first medal event at the current Olympics.