Clark, Hirano, Anderson win Winter Games NZ
The New Zealand World Cup is officially a wrap. The halfpipe competition ended with Kelly Clark and Ayumu Hirano standing tall on top of their respective podiums, while the women of slopestyle crowned Jamie Anderson as their champion. Unfortunately, the men’s slopestyle competition was cancelled due to bad weather. The event, which went down at Cadrona Alpine Ski Resort, was the 2014 season’s first FIS Snowboard World Cup, as part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games.
Young gun Ayumu Hirano took the top spot in the Men’s halfpipe comp after stomping his run for a winning score of 92.25. The japanese prodigy just barely edged out second place rider Taku Hiraoka (JPN), who managed a 91.75 and took his place on the World Cup podium for the fourth time. Christian Haller (SUI) was relegated to third place with an 82.50. Post-win, Hirano simply stated, “I’m very happy about my first rank.”
Kelly Clark dominated in the halfpipe, coming back after an early fall to finish off the competition with an 89.50. Clark’s score left Xuetong Cai to take second with an 85.50, just barely nudging out Gretchen Bleiler, who landed in third with an 85.25. Clark hammered home a winning run— frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 1080 lien, cab 720 mute, frontside stalefish— and walked away with her seventh World Cup win to date.
Of her win, Clark commented, “I’m really happy that the weather held off for us and we were able to have good training yesterday and a great final today. I was happy to overcome a first run fall. It’s never ideal but it’s a great practice. I thought, if this is happening at the Olympics as it happened to me before, what a great opportunity to have to come out and land a good run. And that’s exactly what I was able to do. Knowing I can do this is great. I’m happy with my snowboarding and where it’s at.”
Jamie Anderson (USA) nabbed first place for Slopestyle, scoring an un-matched 94.75 with her first run, which consisted of a backside tail tap over the wall ride to a backside tailslide on the down rail, a 50-50 to backside 180 out on the pole jam and a switch backside 5 indy to backside 5 mute on the two-kicker line. Great Britain’s Jenny Jones managed second place with an 87.00, leaving Cheryl Maas (NED) and her 80.50 in third place.
Anderson—who can now claim two World Cup wins, stated, “I just wanted to land a run and do well but I wasn’t totally obsessed with winning. All of us had to deal with the weather which was quite challenging but we all rode really well and I’m so proud of all the girls and I’m really happy with myself.”