High winds created even higher drama today for the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup Halfpipe final. Liu Jiayu of China and American legend Shaun White of the USA eventually blew the field apart taking gold with heart-stopping displays at Cardrona’s Olympic halfpipe.
Liu took victory with her first run that finished with a front-7 to a cab-7. American Kelly Clark came good to grab silver, while consistent quality from compatriot Gretchen Bleiler secured bronze.
Shaun White took victory with his first score of 47.1. Silver went to Iouri Podladtchikov from Switzerland and Kazuhiro Kokubo gave the vocal Japanese fans plenty to cheer about with bronze. Mobbed by the media and fans at the end of his second run, White said, "I knew I’d already won so it was fun to have a victory lap and I let out two of my best tricks – a cab 1080 double cork and a frontside double. What a wild event! I didn’t think we were going to ride today – the wind was unreal".
Head Judge Ola Sundequist summed up the action: "It turned out to be a fantastic day which I wouldn’t have believed this morning. The women’s result was closer and exciting to the end. Shaun White won because of amplitude off the jumps, level of difficulty and the fact that he’s creating new tricks. We haven’t seen that in the sport for a few years. What we’ve witnessed at Winter Games NZ here today clearly demonstrates the progression being made by both men and women".