Queenstowners shine at Games

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Winter Games NZ boss Marty Toomey says “Queenstown’s stars were at the forefront” of this year’s competition.

Underdog Blake Marshall is celebrating winning the men’s ski Freeride World Tour qualifier on home turf at The Remarkables skifield, last Wednesday.

He entered the event ranked 856th in the world, rising to the top of the podium after pulling off some tough tricks, including a switch 180 into a double cliff drop.

And New Zealand’s youngest Olympian, Queenstown skier Alice Robinson, dominated the giant slalom event at this year’s Games.

The 16-year-old scored six FIS points during the first day of the event at Coronet Peak – the best score possible in the race.

Toomey says both are “good Queenstown success stories”.

“From a sport perspective it was great.”

Many of the events were held at Cardrona.

Olympic Big Air bronze medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, of Wanaka, finished eighth in the women’s snowboard Big Air qualifier, missing out on a finals spot.

Wanaka’s Nico Porteous, 16, won top spot in the freeski halfpipe in the world junior championships.

Nineteen-year-old freeskier Finn Bilous, also from Wanaka, took home the bronze medal in the World Cup Big Air event.

Toomey says his team gave a “strong delivery” of the Games this year and organisers will now consider options for next year’s event, including the possibility of a Winter Games village.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz