Irving, Kexin take World Cup half pipe golds

American freeskier Birk Irving ramps the halfpipe on the way to victory during the Winter Games...
American freeskier Birk Irving ramps the halfpipe on the way to victory during the Winter Games freeski halfpipe finals at Cardrona on Saturday. PHOTO: ADAM BURNS
There was further glory for the global stars as Winter Games formalities were rounded off at Cardrona on Saturday.

American Birk Irving and Zhang Kexin, of China, had the final say on the halfpipe, both securing gold in the freeski World Cup halfpipe finals.

Irving set the bar immediately with a score of 95.00 on his opening run.

However, it would be his final drop which would be the clincher as the 20-year-old carved out a score of 95.60 by virtue of two double flips, huge amplitude and good execution.

"I'm just really excited to land that run. Those are tricks I've wanted to do for such a long time," a delighted Irving said.

"It's insane to put that run down today. I'm beyond words. The pipe was perfect, everything just lined up and ended up working in my favour. I couldn't be happier."

Canadian Noah Bowman was also in sublime form, laying down perfect back-to-back switch doubles and scoring 93.40 on his third and final run to finish second.

Two time reigning world champion Aaron Blunck, of the United States, registered 92.80 on his final run as he took home the bronze medal.

It was a rough morning for Kiwi Miguel Porteous, who suffered a heavy crash on his first run and was unable to drop in for his second and third runs as a result.

Kexin edged fellow countrywoman Eileen Gu in the women's competition.

Gu landed 88.80 on her first run to push into the lead.

Kexin would respond with back-to-back switch 900s for a run two score of 91.00 as the lead changed hands.

A peak score of 89.00 by Gu was not enough to catch the 17-year-old Kexin.

Russian Valeriya Demidova landed three solid runs for a top score of 87.80 on her final drop as she finished in third place.

Add a Comment

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter