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2014 Olympic snowboarding results: Men's slopestyle event debuts in Sochi

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The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia unofficially began on Feb. 6 with the debut of the men's snowboard slopestyle event at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. A field of 29 riders --less team USA's Shaun White, who caused a stir by withdrawing less than a day before the competition-- rode in two separate qualifying heats to determine whether they would compete again in the Feb. 7 semis or advance directly to the Feb. 8 event final.

In the first heat, Norway's Staale Sandbech took the top spot and a berth in the finals thanks to a solid second run that scored a field-best mark of 94.50. Also advancing directly to the medal round were Finland's Peetu Piiroinen (90.75), Canada's Sebastien Toutant (87.25), and Jamie Nicholls of Great Britain. Nicholls narrowly edged team USA's Chas Guldemond for the last automatic berth with a second run mark of 86.75 to Guldemand's first run score of 86.00.

Riders from the first heat who will compete in the Feb. 7 semis include, in order of placement:

  • Guldemand
  • Billy Morgan, Great Britain
  • Niklas Mattsson, Sweden
  • Emil Andre Ulsletten, Norway
  • Charles Reid, Canada
  • Alexy Sobolev, Russia
  • Scotty James, Australia
  • Lucien Koch, Switzerland
  • Yuki Kadono, Japan
  • Mathias Weissenbacher, Austria
  • Torgeir Bergrem, Norway

The real show played out during the second heat, which saw gold medal favorite Mark McMorris of Canada falter during his first run and recover during the second, but not enough to earn him an automatic berth in the finals. The four competitors who did advance safely to the medal round include Canada's Max Parrot (97.50), Finland's Roope Tonteri (95.75), Sweden's Sven Thorgren (94.25) and Gjermund Braaten of Norway (91.25). Americans Sage Kotsenburg and Ryan "Razzle Dazzle" Stassel finished eighth and ninth, respectively, and will compete in the semifinal round.

Riders from heat two who will compete in the semis include:

  • Seppe Smits, Belgium
  • Clemens Schattschneider, Austria
  • McMorris
  • Kotsenburg
  • Stassel
  • Jan Scherrer, Switzerland
  • Ville Paumola, Finland
  • Janne Korpi, Finland
  • Seamus O'Connor, Ireland
  • Adrian Kraner, Austria

Action from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will continue Feb. 6 with women's snowboard slopestyle and moguls qualifications, and the first round of the brand new figure skating team event.

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