Torah Bright (AUS) and Nathan Johnstone (AUS) have successfully put an Australian stamp on the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Cup season's second halfpipe contest.
Both riders impressed spectators along the 22 foot superpipe as well as the judges and thus deservedly secured victory in Copper Mountain, CO, USA, Grand Prix which saw a super strong and deep field of competitors featuring the who is who of freestyle snowboarding.
The 2010 Olympic Gold medalist earned the high score (85.75) in the first run of the finals which consisted of a backside air to air to fakie tail, cab 720 indy, frontside air, backside 540 mute and a backside alley oop rodeo 540 melon to finish things off.
Bright thus edged off best qualifier Kelly Clark (USA, 82) to the second spot who tried to counter with a frontside 900 to backside 540 mute, frontside 720 indy, cab 720 mute and a final frontside 540 but couldn't bump off Bright from the top spot.
According to this, the Aussie rider, who had also competed in yesterday's slopestyle but missed the finals, was all smiles having won the last halfpipe event before the upcoming worlds: “I'm just really happy to have made it through the week and out down a run I'm happy with. I'm really happy to have won of course and got the FIS points I needed to qualify for the Games for Australia.”
Bright's next stop will be the World Champs where she will chance it again for her Olympic qualifier spot in the slopestyle.
Also going to the worlds but competing in the halfpipe event is Queralt Castellet (ESP) rounded out the podium as third (80.75).
Johnstone shocks US boys
On the men's side of things, the reigning World Champion stood out with an extremely high and well executed technical second run (94.75) thus bumping of Luke Mitrani (USA, 92.75) from the top to the runner-up seat. Third rank went to Louie Vito (USA, 86.75).
Johnstone, who now leads the Halfpipe World Cup standings like Kelly Clark does on the women's side, thus shocked the strong US rooster who had six riders in the finals of the top 16.
But the 2011 Halfpipe World Cup champion had put it all together throwing down a backside air to frontside double cork 1080, cab 1080 taipan, frontside 900 mute and backside 900 melon.
However, he didn't even had dreamt of coming out first out of such a strong field featuring so many talented riders like here in Copper Mtn.
“It's unreal. I totally didn't expect it coming to this event at all. I was looking for a result like top-10 or so but definitely didn't expect to win. This is overwhelming.”
Johnstone also added that his next goal are the World Championships which will be staged in Stoneham and Quebec City, Canada, from January 17th through 27th.
“I can't wait for next week and the world champs where I hopefully can continue the good run.”
The full results of today's halfpipe contest can be found here: