Rochon the only male to qualify
The Canadian air force got off to a strong start at the 2003 FIS Freestyle World Championships at Deer Valley Resort in Utah on Wednesday, with all four of the Canadian women in the running placing in the top-12 of the qualifier and making it into the finals on Friday a first for the team.
Only one member of the mens team qualified.
"Its usually the other way around, with the men getting all of the spots, so this is pretty weird," said Whistlers Tami Bradley, who qualified in 12 th position.
"Because Im retiring after this year, it wasnt a really good run for me, I skied really conservatively. I just wanted to make it into the finals," she said.
Stephanie St. Pierre, who won her first World Cup gold medal in the dual moguls event at Fernie last weekend, led the way once again in qualifying third. The 17-year-old rookie hails from Victoriaville, Quebec.
Elisa Kurylowicz of Manotick, Ontario, qualified eighth and Kristi Richards of Summerland, B.C. was ninth.
"Theres really a lot of pressure out there, and some of the top girls didnt make the cut," said Bradley. "I have no idea how we all managed to get into the finals, I guess were a stronger team than we realized."
Stephane Rochon of Ste-Sauveur, Quebec, was the only member of the Canadian mens team to qualify of the finals on Friday. Scott Bellavance of Prince George crashed after the second jump, and both Warren Tanner of Grimsby, Ontario, and Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau pulled off mid-course to avoid crashing.
The World Championships, which run from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, include moguls, dual moguls, aerials and big air events. You can follow the action at www.worlds2003.deervalley.com.