Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Zealand Winter Games Freeski Halfpipe

After the wild weather of previous days, conditions mellowed but tricks remained intense for the Freeski Halfpipe. American skier Taylor Seaton took gold in the men’s competition following his second place in the Volkl NZ Freeski Open at the same venue nine days before.The winner of that event, local favourite Jossi Wells, couldn’t repeat his success at Winter Games NZ and pulled out early into his first run due to a knee injury. David Wise of the USA came second in the men’s event after nailing a double flare in his second run – one of the tricks of the day. This pushed Xavier Bertoni of France into third place. Lyndon Sheehan of Wanaka was the top Kiwi, flying into fifth place with a great first run.
In the women’s event, Swiss skier Mirjam Jaeger was a clear winner ahead of Rosalind Groenewoud. Fellow Canadian, Dania Assaly just edged FIS world number two Anais Caradeux from France out of the medals. Mirjam Jaeger said, "I just feel great – what else is there to say? I’m super stoked right now. I love New Zealand. I’m definitely going to be back next year!". Janina Kuzma was the highest placed New Zealand woman in 5th place.
Head judge Phil Larose was impressed by the competition at Cardrona, "It went super well. Organisation here was really professional and the athletes felt very comfortable – as if they were competing at X-Games".