Americans among leaders after freestyle halfpipe qualifying

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia ( - Four Americans were among 12 finalists to advance to the finals in the first-ever women's freestyle halfpipe event at the Olympics.

France's Marie Martinod led all qualifiers after managing 88.40 points on her second run, 1.40 points more than American Brita Sigourney. Fellow American Maddie Bowman was third, while compatriots Angeli Vanlaanen and Annalisa Drew finished fifth and 11th, respectively.

Each skier had two runs with the top-12 best single-run scores advancing to the finals.

Also moving on were Anais Caradeux of France, Japan's Ayana Onozuka, Canadian Rosalind Groenewoud, New Zealand's Janina Kuzma, Australian Amy Sheehan and Virginie Faivre and Mirjam Jaeger of Switzerland.

Snowboarders, of course, have been using the halfpipe for their death-defying tricks since the Nagano Games back in 1998, but the decision was made in 2011 to add the ski halfpipe to the Olympic lineup for the Sochi Games.

American David Wise won the men's competition on Tuesday.