Bokwang Phoenix Park, KOR - New Zealand freeskier Jossi Wells (Wanaka) has won the bronze medal at the penultimate slopestyle World Cup of the season which was staged at the Bokwang Phoenix Park, Korea and also served as the official Olympic test event for PyeongChang 2018.
The creative and challenging course played to the Kiwi’s strengths as he made full use of the rail and jump features, pulling out an impressive repertoire of tricks.
There was no doubt that the judges were looking for perfection and the world class field was up for the challenge. At the end of the day the medal winners’ scores would be separated by less than one point. Gold went to Alex Bellemare, the 22-year old Canadian bringing home his career's first World Cup win by throwing down the run of his life on his third and final run.
Sitting in tenth rank after two runs Bellemare felt no pressure at all scoring a 93.60. He therefore edged off Henrik Harlaut (SWE, 93.00) who had just sneaked into the finals as tenth best qualifier with a mere of .60 to the runner-up position.
Wells’ medal winning run also came down to his final attempt. His first two runs had shown a taste of what he was capable of, the rail lines in particular exceptional, but a couple of backseat landings meant his score sat in the 80s, outside of the medals.
“We knew we were on the right track but Jossi just needed to do the run really cleanly to get onto the podium,” explains coach Bruce Wells.
Keeping a cool head and focusing on the task in hand, Wells nailed his final run for a score of 92.80 and the bronze medal.
Wells has been on exceptional form all season also winning gold at X Games earlier this month and silver at the Dew Tour in December.
Later today, fellow Cardrona NZ Park & Pipe team, Christy Prior will compete in the women’s snowboard slopestyle finals, looking to repeat her qualifying performance which saw her top of the field ahead of Olympic gold medallist Jamie Anderson on the USA.
1st feature: (a)Down flat down. Right 270 pretzel (Left)270 off
2nd feature: (a) Quarterpipe to hitching post. Forward to switch, stall, shifty (b) Flatrail. Switch on forward off. (c) Down flat down rail. Forward on, left 180,continue to switch off
3rd feature (a)“Frank the tank”. Switch left 270 on, off forward. (b)Corrugated tube. Left on to 50/50 to 180 off
1st Jump-Right dub 10 safety grab
2nd jump-Left dub 12- mute grab
3rd Jump-left dub 10-safety
Image credit: Oliver Kraus/FIS