PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb 17 (Reuters) - France’s 16-year-old world champion Tess Ledeux caused a major shock in freestyle skiing’s slopestyle at the Pyeongchang Games on Saturday when she crashed out and failed to qualify for the final. The French wunderkind raised the stakes with a more risky routine in her second run at the Phoenix Snow Park, needing a big score to reach the top 12 for the final later on Saturday.
But she badly lost control of her final jump, her arms pinwheeling in the air before she thudded down in an explosion of snow.
The score of 28.40 left her with a highest mark of 69.40, 15th out of the field of 23.
Swede Emma Dahlstrom topped qualifying with a score of 91.40.
Clearly distraught, Ledeux promptly left the venue, potentially raising the ire of the International Olympic Committee for skipping media duties.
At the age of 15 years and 116 days, Ledeux’s world title at Sierra Nevada, Spain, last year made her the youngest freestyle skier to win a world championship.
But the raised intensity of the Olympic theatre clearly got to the teenager, who might sooner have opted for a safer routine in her second effort.
France’s day got worse with the nation’s other skier Lou Barin also missing out on qualifying with a 19th placing.
There was better news for Sweden, as their 15-year-old talent Jennie-Lee Burmansson qualified 11th to sneak into the final.
Burmansson, who took bronze at the Winter X Games in Aspen in the leadup, wiped out in her first run but managed a 77.00 in her second to keep alive her bid to become the youngest Olympic medallist in freestyle skiing. (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)