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With only two months to go until the Olympic Winter Games, the event serves as an opportunity for the world’s best freeskiers to test their mettle. In the first of two heats, Christchurch 16-year-old Porteous, who was named in the New Zealand Olympic team in October, finished a close second to Sochi gold medallist David Wise.
Wanaka’s Wells finished in third place in heat two, also making the top-four cut-off for finals. He returned to competition in August this year following an injury break and is now tracking well towards qualifying for PyeongChang next year.
Wells landed a high-scoring run on his first attempt, rewarded for consistent amplitude and good trick variety, also including both-ways double 1260s in his run.
New Zealanders Miguel Porteous and Byron Wells did not progress to finals.
Porteous crashed on both of his competition runs, while Wells used the event purely for training purposes.
In the women’s field, Wanaka’s Janina Kuzma put down a strong first run but needed to up the ante to hold on to her place in the top four and progress to finals. She came unstuck on her second hit and finished sixth in her heat. Team-mate Britt Hawes finished 13th.
The freeski halfpipe finals are scheduled for tomorrow.