Teenage snowboarders land in middle of the pack in halfpipe qualifiers
Teenage snowboarders Lee Na-yoon and Lee Chae-un finished their runs at their first-ever Olympics on Wednesday.
Eighteen-year-old Lee Na-yoon finished 20th in the women’s halfpipe and 15-year-old Lee Chae-un finished 18th in the men’s halfpipe. Lee Chae-un is the youngest athlete in Team Korea and the youngest male athlete at the Beijing Games across all sports.
With only the top 12 athletes advancing to the final, both Korean snowboarders were knocked out of the competition.
Each halfpipe run is scored by a team of six judges. After dropping the highest and lowest scores, the four remaining scores are averaged together for each run.
In the first run of the women’s halfpipe, Lee Na-yoon scored 31 points, then added 34.50 points in the second run. Her average jump height was 2.5 meters, but she reached 3.4 meters at the highest point.
PyeongChang Olympics gold medalist Chloe Kim of the United States topped the group in the qualification run, receiving 87.75 points in her second run despite falling in her first run.
In the men’s halfpipe, Lee Chae-un finished 17th out of 25 athletes after his first run. Lee slipped slightly landing his first 1440-degree rotation but was still able to carry out his next trick, scoring 26 points.
In his second run, he was able to nail his 1440-degree rotation, receiving 34 points for the jump, then succeeded in his next tricks despite slipping while landing his last jump. He was able to score nine points higher than his first run, landing in 18th position with 35 points.
Lee Chae-un only joined Team Korea on Friday, becoming the last Korean to join the national team. Although he went out early, landing within the top-20 at his first-ever Olympics with very little time to prepare is something of an achievement.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]