LAAX OPEN: Liu and Burgener top halfpipe semi finalists
The LAAX OPEN 2018 finally saw the first competition going down today after gusting winds and heavy snowfall had forced organisers to postpone all competition activities since Tuesday.
And although Mother Nature wasn't done with her job yet, riders were finally able to drop in the superpipe at Crap Sogn Gion braving the ongoing snow fall and directly competing in the semi finals which had replaced the qualifiers due to the the mentioned event re-scheduling.
Fresh off some powder riding over the last couple of days, athletes were going for one of the eight ladies and 14 men spots in the finals.
In the women's field, it was Jiayu Liu (CHN) standing out with a 98.50 with her fellow countrywoman Xuetong Cai, no less than the reigning World Champion, finishing in second position (96.25).
Mirabelle Thovex (FRA; 84.00) was the best European with Snowmass World Cup winner Queralt Castellet (ESP; 80.75) following in fourth.
Olympic Champion Torah Bright (AUS; 79.50), Li Shuang (CHN; 78.25), Holly Crawford (AUS; 78.00) and local favourite Verena Rohrer (SUI; 74.00) also grabbed their spots in the finals.
Over in the men's competition, Patrick Burgener (SUI; 97.00) and Olympic Champion Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI; 96.00) made it 1-2 for the hosting nation with Yiwei Zhang (CHN; 93.00) and Yuto Totsuka (JPN; 90.00) also scoring in the 90s.
The men's final field was completed by Japanese shredders Raibu Katayama (89.00), Naito Ando (86.75) as well as David Habluetzel (SUI; 86.25), Derek Livingstone (CAN; 86.00), Jan Scherrer (SUI; 83.75), Taku Hiraoka (JPN; 81.25), Finnish rippers Peetu Piiroinen (79.50), Markus Malin (68.00) as well as Nathan Johnstone (AUS; 67.25) and Wancheng Shi (CHN; 67.00).
The finals are slated for Saturday at 13:00 CET with live broadcasting on:
all SRG TV channels
and on www.redbull.tv (17:30 CET) on Friday and Saturday
The LAAX OPEN will continue tomorrow with the slopestyle event. Men's qualifiers are scheduled for 10:35 CET while all women will directly move on to the finals which will take place at 13:45 CET.