Kiwi hopes tumble in halfpipe final


Kiwi hopes both took tumbles in the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ freeski halfpipe finals up Cardrona today.
Wanaka’s Beau-James Wells fell but still finished 11th overall whilst in the women’s final Janina Kuzma fell in the second half of her run to finish 10th. 

Poor visibility meant just one run for both men and women in the FIS World Cup event. 

American Devin Logan won the women’s with 84.60 to mark a stunning return from a serious knee injury. 

Antti-Jussi ‘AJ’ Kemppainen of Finland won the men’s gold ahead of Americans Aaron Blunck and Taylor Seaton in third. 

Kiwi Lyndon Sheehan, who notched up the second-highest score in qualifying yesterday, just missed a medal coming fourth. 

Women’s winner Logan says: “It feels pretty good. I didn’t really expect anything this cool, but it’s definitely a good start for the season and I’m happy. I’ll take it.” 

Across the hill on the slopestyle course, it was a training day for elite snowboarders including American hotshot Shaun White. 

Head judge Iztok Sumatic, of Slovenia, says he’s looking forward to an awesome competition that’s wide open.

“There are probably between ten and fifteen riders who will contest the podium. That’s great for the event and great for the sport.”

The Games continues tomorrow with the FIS Snowboard World Cup Slopestyle qualifying at Cardrona, FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Giant Slalom men’s race at Coronet Peak and the start of Winter Games NZ’s elite curling tournament in Naseby. 

The associated FESTIVAL sees Kiwi six-piece Phoenix Foundation playing Queenstown Memorial Hall tonight plus entertainment and live music at the Lotto Villages in Queenstown and Wanaka. 

The Adventure Film Festival presented by Auckland Airport premieres on Monday. 

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