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Torah Bright facing stern test from Americans

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Torah Bright’s campaign to defend her Olympic gold kicks off on Wednesday night, when the 27-year-old has her first run in the heats of the women’s halfpipe.

Bright will feature in heat two, as she attempts to shrug off the disappointment of her seventh place in Sunday’s slopestyle.

There is more Australian interest in heat one, with Holly Crawford, Stephanie Magiros and Hannah Trigger all aiming to qualify for the semi-finals and beyond.

All four women will have to contend with a halfpipe that has copped plenty of criticism, with competitors from far and wide lining up to take shots at the course.

“It’s brutal and all you can do is kinda laugh in there,” Bright told Network Ten.

“The people who are constructing the pipe aren’t the greatest at their craft and it makes it challenging for us. No one is able to ride their best today.

“We’ve had two days of training and you can’t even link a run.”

American star Shaun White, who was bidding for his third consecutive Olympic halfpipe gold medal, failed to land one of his manoeuvres in Tuesday’s men’s final, and said the conditions were “pretty tough”.

Bright’s stiffest competition should come from American veteran Kelly Clark, competing in her fourth Olympics.

Clark is favourite for the halfpipe, has won the past four X-Games gold medals in the event, and looks in excellent touch.

Wednesday’s competition will see the past three women’s halfpipe gold medallists do battle, with Clark (2002) and fellow American Hannah Teter (2006) lining up alongside defending champion Bright.