PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Swedish wunderkind Jennie-Lee Burmansson came up short in her bid to become the youngest freestyle skier to win a medal at a Winter Olympics but the 15-year-old will return to school “stoked” for making the final.
After 16-year-old French world champion Tess Ledeux crashed out of qualifying, Burmansson finished eighth behind Swiss gold medallist Sarah Hoefflin in glorious sunshine at the Phoenix Snow Park.
Another Swiss in Mathilde Gremaud took silver, with Isabel Atkin clinching the bronze for Great Britain.
“It went OK, I made the final, so I’m stoked about it,” Burmansson, who took bronze at the Winter X Games in Aspen in the leadup, told Reuters.
With 65.00 her highest mark, Burmansson went for glory on her third and final run to attempt to reel in the Swiss leaders, but she decisively wiped out.
“I don’t know, I couldn’t really figure it out in training, I couldn’t really get some good tricks on the jumps as well,” she said.
Ledeux had earlier gone for a more risky routine in her second run during qualifying, needing a big score to reach the top 12 for the final.
But she badly lost control of her last 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.
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.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury and Sudipto Ganguly