Japanese riders dominate season's last Halfpipe World Cup | Okada and Aono triumph

Crystal Globes go to James and Clark

18 January 2014 21:47
Halfpipe World Cup podium ladies at Stoneham with 2nd Yuki Furihata (JPN), 1st Rana Okada (JPN) and 3rd Hikaru Oe (JPN)
Halfpipe World Cup podium ladies at Stoneham with 2nd Yuki Furihata (JPN), 1st Rana Okada (JPN) and 3rd Hikaru Oe (JPN) -
Renaud Philippe

The last halfpipe contest of the 2014 FIS Snowboard Freestyle World Cup tour wrapped up with a Japanese freestyle show. The riders from the land of the rising sun dominated the finals at Stoneham, Canada, with a podium sweep on the ladies' side today underlining the importance of the event being decisive for some nation's Olympia selections.

Rana Okada claimed her career's first with 86.50 with a backside air to lien air, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 melon and a cab 720 mute saying “I'm very happy. I don't know yet if I'm part of the Olympic team but I do hope so.”

Yuki Furihata (82.25, mc twist / crippler 540 / backside air / cab 360 melon) and Hikaru Oe (78.25, backside air / melon / backside 540 mute / frontside 720 melon / cab 720 mute) placed second and third respectively thus bringing home her career's first podium finishes and some good arguments to make the Japanese Olympic team.

On the men's side, Ryo Aono of Japan came out victorious after an impressive first run (92) and thus secured his Sochi spot with a backside 5 mute to frontside 1080 lien, cab 1080 indy, frontside 9 lien and a taipan to finish things off.

I'm very pleased with this win. I came here to secure my Olympic spot which I have due to this victory. I'm very happy,” he said.

World Cup title for Aussie and US rider

The podium was rounded out by Jan Scherrer (SUI, 85.25, frontside 7 indy / cab 1080 mute / frontside 9 tail / backside 5 mute / frontside 1080 lien) and Scott James (AUS, 84.50, frontside lien / backside 540 mute / frontside 1080 tail / cab 1080 double cork indy / frontside double) who thus not only clinched his career's first podium but also his first ever Halfpipe World Cup title (1,400).

Kelly Clark (USA, 2000) successfully defended her 2013 Halfpipe World Cup title although she sat out the Snowboard Jamboree presented by Mazda in collaboration with Videotron Mobile staying back home with her team mates to find out in the US qualifiers who will make the Olympic team of four ladies and men.

Rebecca Sinclair (NZL, 1,640) and today's winner of the halfpipe contest presented by Mazda, Rana Okada (1,520), placed second and third in the final Halfpipe World Cup ranking.

On the men's side, Johann Baisamy (FRA, 1,362) and Ryo Aono (1,258) took second and third in the final standings.

The FIS Snowboard Freestyle World Cup continues tomorrow with the penultimate slopestyle contest of the season and thus the last of the Olympic qualifier process. The semi finals are scheduled for 11 AM ET (5 PM CET), the finals for 1 PM ET (7 PM CET).

Results: