Wicki and Cho 2017 halfpipe junior world champions
Switzerland's Berenice Wicki and South Korea's Hyeon-Min Cho have been crowned 2017 halfpipe junior world champions coming out successful of the finals staged as culmination of the ten-day Freestyle Champs in Laax, Switzerland.
Laax had jumped in for Corvatsch – originally planned to host the 2017 junior world's halfpipe event – after the resort close to St. Moritz had been suffering from the warm weather conditions.
But with a perfectly shaped superpipe on hand at Crap Sogn Gion, things were set for a superb show with 32 up-and-coming talents from all over the world showcasing their skills and style in the 200 metres long superpipe built with 7 metres walls and a 22 metres transition.
In the end, one local favourite and one rider from the far east were able to walk away with the title having impressed the judges the most in the three run, best one count final of the six best girls and top ten boys from the qualifications.
Wicki landed a backside air to frontside air, backside tail, frontside 360 indy, cab 360 melon, frontside 540 indy whilst finishing things off with a backside indy to walk away with the Gold.
“This was by far the best day in my life since I ride halfpipe,” she said.
Earning a 84.30 she edged off Anna Valentine from the US of A to the second rank (82.50) with best qualifier Leilani Ettel (GER) rounding out the podium as third with a score of 79.30.
Over in the men's event, Cho – just 14 years of age – underlined that the future of Korean halfpipe riding does look bright by stomping a backside 540 mute,to frontside 1080 tail, haakon flip, frontside double cork 1080 indy, cab 1080 nose and a final frontside 900 tail.
With a 92.30 given by the judges, Cho deservedly took the win ahead of US boys Toby Miller (88.80) and Chase Blackwell (80.50).
The last stop of the three-stop junior world championships will be Spindleruv Mlyn (CZE) where the medal decisions in the slopestyle and big air disciplines will be held from March 30th to April 1st.
Results Halfpipe Junior World Championships 2017 in LAAX/SUI
1. Hyeon-Min Cho KOR 92,3
2. Toby Miller USA 88,8
3. Chase Blackwell USA 80,5
4. Elias Allenspach SUI 75,3
5. Liam Tourki FRA 70,8
1. Berenice Wicki SUI 84,3
2. Anna Valentine USA 82,5
3. Leilani Ettel GER 79,3
4. Tessa Maud USA 65,0
5. Kirsten Webster USA 53,5