Kelly Clark and Japan’s very own super talent Ayumu Hirano have clinched the FIS Snowboard World Cup halfpipe event at Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort which was part of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2013. Earning a total of 89.50 points, Clark relegated Xuetong Cai (CHN, 85.50) and Gretchen Bleiler (USA, 85.25) to the second and third rank respectively.
Doing so, the grand dame of women’s halfpipe snowboarding not only underlined once again that she is on top of her game but also showed some mental strength. After the 30-years-old fell on her frontside 1080 in her first run, the best qualifier and thus last to drop in in run two of the finals nailed it on the buzzer.
While the older generation led the field of international competitors on the women’s side, the up-and-coming generation took over the scene on the men’s side of things.
Best qualifier Ayumu Hirano, probably the world’s biggest talent to watch out for in halfpipe snowboarding being only 14 years of age, ran his rivals into the ground winning his career’s first ever World Cup with 92.25.
Only his fellow countryman Taku Hiraoka (JPN, 91.75) came close missing the high score by only 0.50. Christian Haller (SUI, 82.50) rounded out the podium as third.
1. Ayumo Hirano
2. Taku Hiraoka
3. Christian Haller
1. Kelly Clark
2. Xuetong Cai
3. Gretchen Bleiler