World Cup Half Pipe Winners in Saas Fee
After the big air event last week in London the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup moved to Saas Fee in Switzerland where the usual suspects were evident on the podium.
Torah Bright from Australia demonstrated impressively why she definitely belongs to the world’s best freestyle ladies. She amazed the spectators and judges likewise with technical and spectacular jumps like the cap 720 which meant she won the half pipe competition in the ladies division.
“I was so glad that we had a good weather today, it’s much more fun then. I had to get used to the pipe first, but then I could demonstrate some good runs” said Torah.
In second place was China’s Xuetong Cai who said “I felt really good today. Unfortunately some of my hits were too short, but I’ll keep on practicing and hope to perform a great run at the Olympics in a couple of months”.
The third placed Sophie Rodriguez of France also didn’t have a reason to complain: “It was the first time I landed my planned run. So I’m for sure really happy and hope to keep that level and can even improve some tricks this season”.
Torah Bright – Australia’s half pipe winner in Saas Fee
Photos courtesy of FIS-Florian Ruth
When it came to the blokes it was Kazuhiro Kokubo from Japan who carried off the top spot.
Kokubo was on fire in the perfect shaped super pipe of Saas-Fee’s freestyle park. With a clean first run and spectacular jumps he claimed the victory ahead of Mathieu Crepel from France and Peetu Piiroinen of Finland.
Kokubo said, “I didn’t expect to win here against the strong international riders. But it’s a great feeling and an honor definitely”.
Mathieu Crepel was also well pleased with his second place having had such a difficult time through injury in recent months: “It was a great day in a great pipe. It’s really good to be back after dealing with two injuries within the past six months”.
Piioinen could not catch the Japanese even with big tricks like the Alley-oop backside rodeo and a cap 1080. “I can do better, but I’m pleased with my riding and the third rank here in Saas-Fee”, said Piioinen.
Kazuhiro Kokubo of Japan who won in Saas Fee
This leaves Kokubo the overall leader in the men’s division of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup with 1600 points – chased by a pack of four men on 1000 points which includes Stefan Gimpl and Benjamin Karl from Austria, Pierre Vaultier from France and Shaun White from the USA.
There is no outright leader in the women’s division at the moment. The top spot is shared by four girls all with 1000 points – they are Jiayu Liu of China, Amelie Kober of Germany, Torah Bright of Australia and Maelle Ricker of Canada.
It is going to be a fantastic season of competition and we will keep you posted – the next event is scheduled for November 21st when the men are in Stockholm for a Big Air Event.