Competitors brought their A-games to the finals of the FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Freeski & Snowboard Halfpipe presented by Cardrona Alpine Resort at the QRC Winter Games NZ, fuelled by Forsyth Barr today.
Chinese athletes took a clean sweep of the Women’s Snowboard podium with Cai Xuetongcarrying her top qualifying form through to finals for a convincing 94.66 point win ahead of Shaotong Wu on 76.66.
“It feels really good,” said Cai, who as a five-time halfpipe crystal globe winner and one of the winningest World Cup riders of all time, is no stranger to the podium.
Leng Qiu claimed the third spot on the podium on her final run of three, just nudging Australia’s Emily Arthur back in to fourth place.
The Men’s Snowboard podium was decided on the very last run of the day when top qualifier Zhang Yiwei (CHN) called third time lucky and managed to land the run he’d been gunning for all day. His combo of front 900, back 900, front double 1080, cab double 1080 earned him a score of 91.00 and top step on the podium.
“That’s why it’s good to have three runs,” explained Zhang after his final run.
Ziyang Wang CHN led the field for most of the day, staking his claim in the top three with a first run score of 84.00 but in the end would have to settle for second place.
13 year old Korean rider Chaeun Lee impressed the judges with the variety and difficulty of his tricks, landing 78.33 points for a well-executed front double 1080 indy, Haakon flip, Front 900 melon, Back 900 mute, Indy Air.
NZ’s Rakai Tait tentatively held on to a third place spot until Yiwei’s final run pushed him off the podium in to fourth. The home crowd felt the weight of his disappointed when he stomped two technical runs in a row but failed to land the last trick on both his second and third runs.
Fletcher Craig (NZ) was also just outside the top placings, finishing his day in fifth place.
The Park and Pipe Series presented by Cardrona Alpine Resort returns to the QRC Winter Games NZ fuelled by Forsyth Barr schedule on Friday for the qualifying rounds of the FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Freeski Slopestyle.
- Xuetong Cai CHN. Front 540 melon, Back 540 mute, Air to Fakie, Cab 720 mute, Alley oop 180
- Shaotong Wu. CHN. Indy air, Front 360 Indy, Cab 720 mute, Front 540 melon, Back 540 mute.
- Leng Qiu. CHN Crippler melon, Backside Air, Front 720 inverted, Cab 360 mute, Front 540 melon
- Yiwei Zhang CHN. Front 900, back 900, front double 1080, cab double 1080
- Ziyang Wang CHN. Front 1080 tail, Cab 1080 truck, Front 900 tail, Back 900 mute
- Chaeun Lee KOR. front double 1080 indy, Haakon flip, Front 900 melon, Back 900 mute, Indy Air.
Full results HERE