Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Audrey Robichaud head to medal round
Entire Canadian women's team heading straight to Olympic final
Canada's entire women's moguls team is headed for the medal round in Sochi.
A strong Canadian contingent battled down the challenging moguls run on Thursday at Rosa Khutor Exreme Park, keeping Canada's hope for another Olympic medal in women's moguls alive.
The Dufour-Lapointe sisters — Chloe, Justine and Maxime — along with teammate Audrey Robichaud finished in the top 10 to earn direct berths into Saturday's final.
Chloe Dufour-Lapointe led the charge by posting a score of 22.64 to finish second behind reigning Olympic champion Hannah Kearney of the United States, who scored 22.05.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the youngest sister at 19, finished third with a score of 22.28, while sister Maxime finished the day in eighth after scoring 20.88 on her qualifying run.
Veteran Team Canada member Audrey Robichaud also advanced to Saturday's medal round, scoring 20.61 and finishing in ninth place.
Robichaud, the only "non-Dufour-Lapointe" on the women's team, is happy to ski alongside the trio of sisters in Sochi.
"People call me 'the other', but I think that might be playing into my favour," said Robichaud. "I just do my thing. I do what I love, which is skiing."
Canadian coaches Jean-Paul Richard and Marc-Andre Moreau were pleased with the performance of their athletes in Thursday's qualifying runs.
"It is a good day at the office," said Richard.
"It was the plan and the hope to get all four in the top 10."
As for what the women's team can accomplish in Saturday's final, Canadian medal expectations remain high.
"All four are capable," said Moreau. "It is a hard course but they have reacted well to it. If they do what they have to do then they all have the potential to get on the podium."
Despite their strong showing in qualifying, the Canadians face stiff competition from the rest of the field, which competes for the remaining 10 spots in a second qualification run on Saturday before the final at 10 p.m. ET.
The Americans remain a force to be reckoned with, with Vancouver 2010 gold medallist Hannah Kearney looking to repeat, and teammates Heidi Kloser and Heather McPhie aiming to join her after the second qualification round.
That round features other serious threats, including Australia's Britteny Cox, who looks strong despite failing to qualify directly for the finals.