February 11, 2018 / 4:12 PM / 12 days ago

Freestyle skiing: Young Americans vow to return from mogul disappointment

PYEONGCHANG (Reuters) - None of the highly-rated members of the American women’s mogul team made it through to Sunday’s Olympic final in Pyeongchang, yet the foursome remain positive of future success.

France’s Perrine Laffont was victorious on Sunday night, with Sochi champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe in second and Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva finishing with bronze.

It was a disappointing night for the Americans, who carried real medal hopes with four women making it through qualifying.

But Morgan Schild failed to progress from the first final and the remaining members of Team USA dropped out in the second round.

Keaton McCargo, who at the age of 22 is the oldest in the team, said she was confident the team would return stronger in the years ahead.

“I think there is a lot more to come from Jaelin (Kauf) and Morgan,” said McCargo, who finished eighth.

“They will be breaking out new tricks and going a long way in the future.”

Schild, 20, Jaelin Kauf, 21 and Tess Johnson, 17, could all be in their prime in four years’ time in Beijing.

The biggest disappointment was for Kauf who, with her family and friends raucously cheering her on from the bottom of the piste, had looked in good form coming into the second final.

However, she was knocked out of the top six positions needed to qualify for the final round on the very last run to finish seventh.

Ranked first in the world coming in to Pyeongchang, Kauf was tearful yet optimistic about the future of the young U.S. team.

“I could have done more,” said Kauf, before breaking into tears. “But I am trying to learn from it and move forward.”

“We are a strong but young team and we are still learning a lot. Moving forward in the next few years we will be really strong.”

Reporting by Jack Tarrant; editing by Clare Lovell

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