Press Release September 1 2017
Lake Wanaka, New Zealand (1 September 2017) – In an international field stacked with Olympic, World Cup and X Games medallists, the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ women’s freeski halfpipe final was always going to be a good showdown. After a two-run final, top honours went to Canada’s Cassie Sharpe with Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru earning the silver medal and France’s Marie Martinod bronze.
Hot off the back of her win in the World Cup Slopestyle held at Cardrona Alpine Resort last week, 15-year-old Kelly Sildaru charged into today’s competition with a first run score of 90.20 points which would have her sitting top of the scoreboard after the first run. Cassie Sharpe posted a first run score of 85.20 but by boosting her amplitude and cleaning up her grabs on the second run was able to overtake Sildaru and claim the gold medal.
“I knew what I had to do,” said Sharpe. “Kelly came out there with a really strong run, I just wanted to boost, get all my grabs and get ahead of her because she had a great run. I’m stoked, the judges saw what I was trying to do and I’m really, really happy.”
“It can be better,” said Sildaru of her runs. “I didn’t get the grab on my last 9 and now I need to work a bit more with amplitude.”
Marie Martinod, winner of the 2016/17 International Ski Federation World Cup globe, had mixed feelings about her third-place finish.
“I didn’t ski well. My first goal is to ski well, that’s what I’m proud of when I can do it. I have some cool tricks but the execution wasn’t good. Luckily, I’m still going high so I have a little advantage on some of the girls but this definitely won’t be enough for the rest of the season. There’s plenty of work still in front of me. I’m happy with the podium but I can do so much better with my skiing.”
Janina Kuzma was the top placed New Zealand athlete finishing 19th, Britt Hawes 20th and Maggie Little 21st.
The Audi quattro Winter Games NZ freeski events are jointly sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP). They provide a valuable opportunity for skiers from around the world to earn qualifying points for the Olympic Winter Games which will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea in February 2018.
Cassie Sharpe (CAN)
Left side flair, tindi grab
Right 360, safety
Switch leftside 360, mute grab
Right side flair, tindi grab
Left 900, tail grab
Kelly Sildaru (EST)
Right side 900, mute grab
Left side, flair
Left side alley oop 540, tail grab
Left side 900
Right side 720, reverse tail grab
Switch left side 540
Marie Martinod (FRA)
Left side 540, safety grab
Right side 540, reverse mute grab
Left side flair, safety grab
Right side flair, safety grab
Left side 900, safety grab