The Cardrona FIS ANC Halfpipe Finals presented by La Roche-Posay were set to be held today in Cardrona’s 22-foot Superpipe. Unfortunately, the wind had other ideas and halfway through the first run the decision was made to cancel the finals and take the results from Thursday’s qualifiers.
The US Freeski Team made a clean sweep of the women’s Freeski Halfpipe Podium, with Hanna Faulhaber taking the top spot with an impressive score of 92.67, 13 points clear of her teammate Carly Margulies in second place. Riley Jacobs rounded out the US podium sweep in third.
Head judge Tori Beattie explained that Hanna’s huge back-to-back flares, consistent amplitude and strong grabs made her stand out from the rest of field, impressing the judges.
Hanna explained “I definitely laid down the run I was doing at the Winter Olympics and X Games, it’s always good to throw down as hard as you can. Sometimes you save stuff for finals to surprise the judges but from hearing that we might not have finals I pushed through and gave it all I had on Thursday.”
Cardrona local and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympian 16-year-old Gustav Legnavsky took the win in the Men’s Freeski Halfpipe category with an impressive run that included three double corks, scoring 94.33. Gustav was disappointed that the finals were cancelled, but nonetheless was stoked to take the win.
Legnavsky said, “Since the Olympics I’ve been getting fired up wanting to have those better results, definitely feels a lot better and I have been more consistent. I am pretty excited, it’s great to get another gold back at my home mountain.”
Fellow Kiwi Ben Harrington finished in second place, right behind Legnavsky, with a score of 93 flat. Harrington, an X Games competitor, and Winter Olympian said “It’s good, Gustav is unreal at the moment, he is skiing super well, it’s really cool to get to ski with him, we’ve been able to ski together and push each other, it’s been really fun!”
Matt Labaugh (USA) rounded out the Men’s Freeski Podium in third with a score of 92.00.
Gaon Choi of Korea was a standout competitor in the women’s Snowboard Halfpipe category from the second she dropped in. Choi impressed with judges with her amplitude and her ability to hold her grabs for the duration of her tricks.
She explained to us how she loves coming to New Zealand to compete and is really pleased with her results here at the 2022 Winter Games NZ.
Tsuki Yamazaki and Mion Kamimura, both of Japan, rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively.
Chaeun Lee, also of Korea, took the win in the men’s snowboard category, with Konosuke Murakami of Japan right on his heels. The judges explained that Lee and Murakami had huge amplitude, almost twice as big as the rest of the field and landed super technical runs.
16-year-old Kiwi Campbell Melville Ives rounded out the podium in third place. “We haven’t had any international athletes in a few years now so it’s really sick to be back competing with them.”