Bokwang Phoenix Park, KOR (16 February 2017) – NZ freeskier Nico Porteous has claimed a top 10 spot in the halfpipe qualifications for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic test event staged at Bokwang Phoenix Park, taking him through to the final rounds of the World Cup to be staged on Saturday 18 February.
With Olympic qualifying on everyone’s mind, and the who’s who of the sport all in attendance, competition was fierce and the smallest mistake enough to take even the top players out of finals contention. Sochi gold medallist David Wise (USA) scored an 84.6 but this would only put him into 11th place and therefore out of the running.
“My goal for the day was to make top 20 and meet the Olympic Qualifying requirement,” explains 15-year-old Nico Porteous.
“In my first two World Cups (Copper Mountain, December 2016; Mammoth Mountain, February 2017) I made some rookie mistakes and I wanted to prove to myself I could do better. The pipe had a good shape and the two days of training had gone well. I landed back to back double 12s for the first time yesterday in training so felt good about things going into today. My first run probably scored better than expected because it wasn't clean but because I had a score on the board we decided to try a new comp run with the back to back doubles.”
Nico was able to land his new competition run, improving his score from 84.00 to 89.00 and putting him in to eighth place. His run comprised: Right double 1260, left double 1260, alley oop, left flat 5, left 1080, switch right 900, switch left 900.
“I'm really pleased to make finals,” says Nico. “I have grown up watching these guys and on Saturday I'll be standing with them and learning what finals skiing is all about. I'll be trying my best and I'll be happy with that.”
Torin Yater-Wallace came out on top of the pack ahead of his US teammate Alex Ferreira and Noah Bowman of Canada rounding out the top three.
Ben Valentin (FRA), Kevin Rolland (FRA), Mike Riddle (CAN), Simon d'Artois (CAN), Aaron Blunck (USA) and Taylor Seaton (USA) also proceed to the finals following their top 10 performance.
In the ladies' competition French favourite Marie Martinod topped the field with the high score of the day 92.80 points while last year's overall FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup winner Devin Logan took the second spot, with Cassie Sharp of Canada finishing on third.
Ayana Onozuka (JPN), Brita Sigourney (USA) and Annalisa Drew (USA) took the remaining top six spots and will also compete in Saturday's finals.
Of the NZ competitors Miguel Porteous finished 15th, Byron Wells 18th, Finn Bilous 19th and Ryan Murphy 24th. Janina Kuzma finished 13th in the women's field.
Torin Yater-Wallace - right dub 1260 mute, left 1080 safety, switch right 720 mute, right alley-oop dub flatspin 900 japan
Alex Ferreira - right dub 1260 mute, left 1080 tail, switch right 720 safety, left 900 tail, right dub flatspin 900 japan
Noah Bowman - right 360 tail, switch left dub 900 safety, right 1080 tail, right alley-oop flatspin high safety, switch left alley-oop dub flatspin 900 safety.
Marie Martinod - left 540 safety, right 540 reverse mute,, left flair safety, right flair safety, left 900 tail.
Devin Logan - straight air mute, right 540 opp japan, left 540 tail, left alley-oop critical, left 720 safety, switch left alley-oop 540 safety.
Cassie Sharpe - right 900, left 900 tail, right 360 safety, switch left 360, right flair tail, left flair safety, right 720 safety
EVENT PROGRAM (NZT):
February 18 (Saturday)
17:30 - 19:10 - finals
Live brackets for qualifications and the finals will be available HERE:
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