Olympics: Reigning champion Kearney eases into moguls final

Reigning champion Hannah Kearney did not disappoint as she topped the rankings in qualification Thursday for the Olympic Games moguls final.

The American twice world champion and Vancouver 2010 gold medallist scored 76.83 percent to easily qualify directly for Saturday's final.

Canada's Chloe Dufour-Lapointe was second with 75.46, just ahead of her teenage sister Justine, thought to be Kearney's main competitor having beaten her at the Calgary World Cup event earlier this year, with 74.26.

The third Dufour-Lapointe sister, Maxime, also moved safely into the final after coming eighth with 69.60.

The top 10 out of 30 competitors qualified directly for the final while the remaining skiers go into a second qualification event on Saturday evening ahead of the final.

Japan's veteran 2009 world champion Aiko Uemura is also safely through having finished sixth with 70.03 but her compatriot Miki Ito, the 2013 world championships silver medallist, did not even make it to the start line.

There was also disappointment for a couple of medal hopefuls as Italy's Deborah Scanzio and Nikola Sudova of the Czech Republic finished 13th and 11th respectively.

bc/dj