Team USA snowboarder Jamie Anderson began her Olympic slopestyle title defense at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday night.
Anderson, who has won each of the two golds awarded in the event since it debuted at the 2014 Sochi Games, placed fifth in the slopestyle qualification and was one of three Americans who advanced to the final. Team USA members Julia Marino and Hailey Langland also qualified.
The 31-year-old Anderson opened her Olympics with a first run of 74.35.
She tallied just a 53.26 on her second run after falling on the final jump, but her best score of 74.35 was still enough to push her through to the final round.
Marino finished right behind Anderson in sixth. The 24-year-old followed up her first run of 2.91 with a 71.78.
Langland, 21, also finished in the top 10 with a 68.71 on her second run for ninth place.
Langland came in sixth in slopestyle at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, while Marino finished 11th.
With only the top 12 snowboarders going through to the slopestyle final, 18-year-old American Courtney Rummel missed the cut with a 17th-place finish.
It was New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, considered one of the biggest threats to Anderson’s three-peat, who posted the best score at 86.75. Sadowski-Synnott, 20, won silver in the big air event at the 2018 Games.
17-year-old Kokomo Murase from Japan had the second-best score with a run of 81.45. Finland’s two-time slopestyle medalist Enni Rukajärvi came in third with a score of 78.83. Rukajärvi was the runner-up in 2014 and the bronze medalist in 2018.
Austria’s Anna Gasser edged out Anderson for fourth with a score of 75.0.
Anderson will go her for third straight gold in the slopestyle final on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET. She’s looking to become the first snowboarder to win the same event at three consecutive Olympics.
You can watch the final live on the USA Network or stream it on Peacock and NBCOlympics.com.