KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — A pair of female American snowboarders advanced directly to the Olympic slopestyle final out of qualification Thursday.
Gold medal favorite Jamie Anderson qualified in second place, with a score of 93.50 on her first run. That score was strong enough to earn one of four automatic spots in the final from her heat so she did not do her second run.
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Karly Shorr also earned one of the eight guaranteed spots in Sunday's slopestyle final with a score of 84.75 on her second run.
No riders were eliminated in Thursday's qualifying rounds, the 15 who did not advance directly to the finals will compete in a semifinal on Sunday for the final four spots.
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Anna Gasser of Austria posted the top qualifying score of 95.50 even though she would have qualified out of the second heat with her opening run. But she was among the first riders in the second heat and didn't want to take the chance that she would get passed by.
"I watched the first heat girls, and I saw that the judges were looking for really good style and fat jumps, so that's what I did in my first run. I just did a safety run," Gasser told USA TODAY Sports. "That was just a good feeling, so I stepped it up in my second run."
Australian Torah Bright, who won gold in the half pipe in 2010, easily qualified for the final as she tries to medal in three snowboarding events — slopestyle, half pipe and snowboard cross.
"I came into these games not changing a bit. I'm here, just snowboarding because I love to snowboard, and I've got a really interesting journey ahead, and I'm really excited about it," Bright said.