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Norway, Canada show off in slopestyle

Reuters

Max Parrot of Canada competes in men’s slopestyle qualifying on Saturday.

ReutersPYEONGCHANG (Reuters) — Norwegian and Canadian teams dominated qualification for the men’s snowboard slopestyle final on Saturday with both nations having all four of their athletes qualify for Sunday’s final.

Canada’s Max Parrot emerged as the highest scorer during the qualification, which sees each athlete have two attempts to register the highest possible score, with the competitor’s best run counting as their qualification score. The top six boarders from each heat then progress to Sunday’s final.

The event started almost 40 minutes late because of a “technical maintenance” issue, however, the competitors did not seem concerned by the delay or the foggy conditions as they produced some stunning runs across the slope, featuring three rails at the start before three jumps.

Norway’s Kleveland, ranked number one in the world and fresh off the back of Winter X Games gold last month, wowed fans with backside 1440 mute grab on the way to a score of 83.71 in the first run.

The 18-year-old qualified in first place from heat one, leading a strong Norwegian contingent and said the spirit in the camp had been great coming into the event.

“It is definitely good to get the whole crew in,” he told reporters after his second run. “We have been having a good time at the village and had some really good days of practice. We are just having fun.”

Sochi silver medalist Staale Sandbech joined the three Norwegians who qualified from heat one with a solid showing in the second heat, scoring 82.13 to qualify in fourth place.

However, it was Canada’s Parrot who secured the highest scoring run of the second heat. The 23-year-old produced two spectacular runs, the highest scoring of which was graded 87.36 by the judges.

Compatriot Mark McMorris pushed Parrot all the way, qualifying with the second highest score from heat two.

The 24-year-old bronze medalist from Sochi admitted that the pair push each other to greater things and will be competing hard in the final.

“We feed off each other for sure. When he does good then I want to do good and I am sure it is vice-versa for him,” McMorris said after the event.

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