Kelly Clark Wins First Olympic Qualifying Event in New Zealand

Kelly Clark (photo: ©FIS/Oliver Kraus)

The Olympic qualifying period got under way for the Sochi Olympic Winter Game with the first 2013 FIS Snowboard World Cup event at Cardrona in New Zealand.  Riders will be trying to earn their countries’ spots in the Olympic games.

American Kelly Clark and Japan’s Ryo Aona won the halfpipe events. Clark’s fifth World Cup win came despite a fall on her first run.  “Falling in the first run is never ideal but I tried to look at it as an opportunity” said Clark.  “That’s exactly what can happen in major events. So it’s good to get used to it and this kind of pressure.”

Clark managed to secure the win with a successful second run – frontside 720 indy, cab 720 mute, frontside air, backside 540 mute, and frontside 540 japan.  France’s Sophie Rodriguez and Spain’s Queralt Castellet rounded out the podium. Fellow American Hannah Teter placed fourth.

Clark was satisfied with her first Olympic qualifier, “I’m really happy with my result here today. We are here to earn spots for our country in the Olympic qualifier period. The good finishes of Hannah (Teter, fourth) and me gave us a good start to the season.”

Women’s podium, from left to right: 2nd Sophie Rodriguez (FRA), 1st Kelly Clark (USA), 3rd Queralt Castellet (ESP) (photo: ©FIS/Oliver Kraus)

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