Ben Ferguson king of YOG halfpipe

15 January 2012 17:23
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Moments before his Men's Snowboard Halfpipe Gold medal-winning run, Ben FERGUSON (USA) walked into a small grove of pine trees behind the starting area and found his focus by doing yoga.

"I just try to be as calm and focused as I can," FERGUSON said of his pre-run ritual. "I like to do some sun salutations and get loose, get ready, take some deep breaths and visualise my run."

FERGUSON's efforts paid dividends during his Gold-winning run, as the 16-year-old Oregon native flew much higher than any of his rivals to win the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games Gold with a score of 93.25 points.

He was followed by Tim-Kevin RAVNJAK (SLO), who secured Silver with 86.75 and Taku HIRAOKA (JPN), who took the Bronze medal with a score of 84.25.

It is the first time the American has beaten the well-known junior stars from Slovenia and Japan, and the first time he has won a major event.

The medal and the Innsbruck 2012 experience have left FERGUSON stunned.

"The whole production, the number of people, you can hear them cheering when you're in the air. I like it a lot," he said.

FERGUSON's Gold run opened with a crippler 540, followed by a backside 9, frontside 900 with a tail grab, a method air and a front double 900.

The competition for Bronze was close, and Michael CICCARELLI (CAN) narrowly missed the podium with a score of 84.00.

He was followed by David HABLUETZEL (SUI) in fifth with a score of 80.25.