Two-time defending gold medalist Jamie Anderson of the U.S. made it into her third career Olympic slopestyle final Saturday with room for improvement as the fifth-best rider in qualifying.
Anderson was clean through most of her second run before coming up short on a final-hit cab double 900 attempt, having to settle for her first-run score of 74.35.
Similar to conditions faced in PyeongChang, cold temperatures and wind gave riders a challenge.
"It sucks. It's cold, It's hard to keep your core temperature warm, and then doing tricks feels a little bit more intimidating. You're just like a little bit stiff. But we can do it," Anderson said. "The wind is kind of an issue, but thankfully it's been kind of a crosswind so it's not really blowing you down. It just scares you."
Odds-on favorite Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, the two-time reigning world champion from New Zealand, showed some sizzle on her second run with a pair of backside 900s, the first of which was in switch, to enter Sunday's final as the top qualifier.
The 20-year-old said she was stoked about her solid second run and that it felt good to put it down headed into the final, where she may raise the bar.
"I guess for qualifications you kind of have to balance with going for hard tricks and then getting through to finals," Sadowski-Synnott said. "I've got a bit more in the tank for tomorrow, but I'm just taking it step by step and hope for the best performance for tomorrow."
Seventeen-year-old Kokomo Murase of Japan, winner of this season's Calgary Snow Rodeo World Cup event, had the top score through the first round of runs. She bettered her score in the second to secure the runner-up spot.
Two-time Olympic medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland improved her final hit from a cab 720 to 900 on Run 2 to post the third-best score.
On her first run, Anderson hit the first section's downward bow rail with a backside lipslide; rode the watch tower "shred shed" roof despite a slight hang-up; hit the roller jump in Section 3; landed a perfect frontside 720 off the left "twisted sister" skew jump; popped a big drifting backside 540 on the second feature's roller-to-knuckle ramp; and closed with a cab 720 off the final section's big-air kicker.
The women's snowboard slopestyle final takes place Sunday morning – the evening of Saturday, Feb. 5, in the Eastern U.S.