Clark and White claim victory in Halfpipe contest at Cypress
At the Halfpipe contest at Cypress, Kelly Clark and Shaun White impressively underlined that the Olympic Champion from 2002 and her fellow countrymen who won in 2006 are the top aspirants for another Gold medal at Vancouver 2010.
Kelly Clark (42.6) secured her back-to-back World Cup win in front of the current leader of the World Cup standings Jiayu Liu (39.0). The Chinese girl thus prevented another US podium sweep like in Bardonecchia a few days before when today’s third and fourth ranked Hannah Teter (38.8) and Gretchen Bleiler (37.0) finished second and third.
On the men’s side, Shaun White celebrated his career’s second World Cup win at Cypress Mountain, Canada, due to a massive score of 47.3 points. Ryoh Aono from Japan (44.8) and Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov (44.3) rounded out the podium as second and third respectively.
Before, more than 100 participants had turned the two-day event into a superb snowboard show by checking out the 2010 Olympic Halfpipe also giving a first impression of the level and riding to be expected next year. Especially the finals provided some huge airs and technical tricks like “Back-to-back 1080’s” in the men’s competition as well as some other highlights like the “Frontside 1260” thrown in by Brad Martin (CAN) who finally ended up seventh. No wonder, that snowboard superstar Shaun White was more than just pleased with his victory at his third World Cup appearance regarding the high level performances: “This win means a lot to me. You get to know everything, the pipe as well as the whole set-up. Next year is going to be wild! All riders did well. There is so much talent out there. It wasn’t easy to win as I haven’t seen the most of them for a while now.”
However, despite not knowing what tricks his contenders would show, White, who had also dominated the qualifiers earlier today, acted befitting his status as reigning Olympic Champion. His winning run consisting of a “Frontside Air”, “Backside 900”, “Frontside 1080”, “Cab 1080” and an “Alley Oop Backside Rodeo” to finish with earned him the best score unreachable for all others.
Indeed Ryoh Aono gave it another try to attack the top score with his second run which was almost identical to the one White had delivered in run one of the finals – the Japanese just changed the final trick into a “Frontside 900”. But in the end, the 18-year-old had to accept that spin-to-win is not always paying off and didn’t better his points. However, the ambitious World Champion who also sits in first position in the race for the Crystal Globe wasn’t disappointed at all. “Well, of course I wanted to win today but I will get another chance in one year”, so his declaration of war for the 2010 Olympics.
Maybe both main actors of today’s snowboard show have to deal also with Iouri Podladtchikov again when it comes down to the decision who will take home Olympic honours. After he had crashed in his first run placing eleventh the 20-year-old was able to get back to business claiming his second third rank in a row after Bardonecchia just a few days ago. “That was the best run I ever sticked in a contest so far” “Ipod” explained after his “Frontside Air”, “Backside 540”, “Back-to-back 1080’s” and a final “Alley Oop Backside Rodeo”. “Looking on the final results, of course I would have loved to take the second spot but I’m more than pleased. Only the reigning Olympic Champion as well as the 2009 World Champion are sitting in front of me.”
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