Dalmeny Snowboarder, Valentino Guseli, made it through to the finals in the Men’s Halfpipe event at his first ever Winter Games yesterday afternoon (Thursday February 9).
Every rider had two attempts in the first qualification event, with the highest score each rider records counting toward the final leaderboard.
Guseli (pictured as a child above with his dad Rick) had a hiccup early in his first run, scoring just 31.75 which left him outside the top 12 but as his dad Rick Guseli described when he spoke with East Coast Radio, the 16-year old stayed calm under pressure.
“The first one (run) he overcooked a little bit, I think he just got a little bit overexcited there and spun it further than he intended,” Rick said.
“I just think it was really great that he went back up, composed himself and just came out and did what he needed to do to make it to finals.”
Listen to our chat below with Valentino’s dad Rick Guseli about his son’s qualifying runs in Beijing and Friday’s final.
That’s exactly what Val did. He scored 85.75 on his second run to qualify for Friday’s (February 11) final of the Men’s Halfpipe in Beijing.
His second run was a great one that included an extremely difficult switch method maneuver.
“The fact that he didn’t land his first run just added to the moment when he just came out, no frills and did what he needed to do and we were pretty stoked to see that.”
Valentino finished the first qualifying event with the fifth best score, along with fellow Aussie, Scotty James, who recorded the second best score of 91.25 behind Hirano Ayumu of Japan who came out with the best score, 93.25.
Japan’s Hirano Ruka came in third best with a score of 87.00 with snowboarding veteran Shaun White (USA) in fourth after a great second run of 86.25 and Valentino roundingout the top five.
The top 12 snowboarders will go toe to toe in the final tomorrow with coverage starting at 12:30pm on Channel 7.
Rick said he will hoping Valentino will put his best foot forward.
“You’re actually going to see a different Val tomorrow, he’ll be trying to send it to the moon and I can’t wait to see it,” Rick said.
“Obviously Scotty (James) is a big competitor but Ayumu is the guy we need to beat.”
“Either way, two Aussies in the top five (of qualifying) so we’re sitting pretty good.”
East Coast Radio’s campaign to get Dalmeny renamed Valmeny, even if it’s just for Friday is starting to gain traction on our social media channels.
Narooma Chamber of Commerce President, Jenny Munroe, and she’s on board with renaming the town for a day.
“I think there’s a lot of public support for that,” Dr Munroe said.
“I went on Facebook a little while ago and you would have 100% support,” she said.
“I think it’s a great idea.”
If you want to see Valmeny come to life, jump on the station’s Facebook page, scroll down until you see the Valmeny post and give it a like, comment or a share or a ReTweet on Twitter. #Valmeny
Image Credit: Rick Guseli