13 Takeaways from Halfpipe Semifinals at the 2017 US Open
Ayumu Hirano is still here.
No doubt. Although we haven’t heard much from the young Japanese aphenom, he showed today that he hasn’t skipped a beat. The kid’s going bigger than ever and his run was ridiculous.
Is IPod still a threat?
Seems so. His run hasn’t changed all that much but he held back today, qualifying in the 7th spot.
Is Shaun White still the king of halfpipe?
He’s 30 now. The oldest rider in the halfpipe field, but he’s riding at the highest level he ever has. Granted, his days of putting down a first run score in the 90s and riding it to the win are over with the likes of Scotty James. Shaun has some serious competition in this field.
Is Scotty James the new king of pipe?
He won the test event in Korea and the X Games and he qualified first today in semis. Seems as if Scotty is taking the crown in a hostile manner and he has the tricks to back it up.
Matt Ladley did a slash to fakie in the middle of his run…
…And it was INSANE. Kudos to you, Ladley. That was the coolest thing we saw today.
Who is Raibu Katayama?
Just a young Japanese kid with a mean frontside 1440 tail who qualified 5th in semis today. Remember this kid’s name, because you’ll be hearing it more as the 35th annual US Open progresses throughout the weekend.
Pat Burgener is back!
One of the preeminent riders of the double cork evolution seemed to disappear for a bit, but Pat Burgener is back and better than ever. His run was psycho today.
1. Scotty James
2. Shaun White
3. Ayumu Hirano
4. Pat Burgener
5. Raibu Katayama
6. Jake Pates
7. Iouri Podladtchikov
8. David Habluetzel
9. Chase Josey
10. Danny Davis
And as for the women…
Japan is coming on strong in the pipe scene for the women’s side…
There was a huge showing of Japanese female pipe riders and they rip. Haruna Matsumoto and Sena Tomita qualified for the finals on Saturday and will face off against a field of US women, including the likes of Chloe Kim, Maddie Mastro, Kelly Clark and Elena Hight.
Hannah Teter and Arielle Gold fail to qualify for finals.
Big surprise there. These two are usually in the finals of every US Open but unfortunately didn’t have what it took today, leaving the door open for Chloe, Kelly and Elena to take the reins at the 35th annual US Open.
Is the Kelly Clark/Chloe Kim rivalry overplayed?
It just might be, seeing as this rivalry doesn’t seem like it will come to a final conclusion any time soon. Kelly isn’t even close to done, as evidenced by today and Chloe is just beginning her dominance.
Can Elena Hight keep it going?
She’s coming off of a HUGE X Games gold medal and with all eyes on Kelly and Chloe, she just might sneak in and steal the win on Saturday.
Can Hannah Teter make the US Olympic team?
She didn’t qualify for finals but don’t count her out for the 2018 Pyongchang Games. Time and again, Hannah has defied all odds and proved the critics wrong.
Could there be a US sweep of the Open podium?
Chances are, the US Open will conclude with a US sweep of the women’s pipe podium. Kelly, Chloe and Elena are the heavy favorites for the top three spots.
But there’s Maddie Mastro, too.
This girl put down her best pipe run yet and although Kelly, Chloe and Elena are the favorites, Maddie has the chops to take the win or sneak herself onto the podium on Saturday.
Who the hell is Haruma Matsumoto and Sena Tomita?
We’ve never heard of these girls but judging by what we saw today, a US sweep of the podium isn’t necessarily imminent. These girls are insanely good.
1. Chloe Kim
2. Maddie Mastro
3. Kelly Clark
4. Haruna Matsumoto
5. Elena Hight
6. Sena Tomita