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US-American team rocks Halfpipe qualifiers in Italy
Friday, 6 February 2009
The US-American team proofed in today’s qualifiers of the fourth Halfpipe competition of the 2009 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup that they are the main aspirants for taking tomorrow’s top podium spot. With Steven Fisher and Gregory Bretz as well as Kelly Clark in the ladies’ competition, riders representing the USA earned the best scores of their qualification heats.
Besides Fisher, who earned 42.5 points in heat one for a massive “Frontside Air”, a “Backside 540”, followed by a “Frontside 720” a “Cab 720” and a “Frontside 900 Tail” to finish with, Finnish young-gun Ilkka-Eemeli Laari (41.5) and 2009 World Championships Bronze medallist Matheiu Crepel (FRA, 40.1) proceeded directly to the finals. Bretz who clinched the highest score within the men’s qualifiers (43.0) for his run including a “Frontside 900”, a “Backside 540”, a “Frontside 720” and a “cab 720” plus a big Crail Grab was accompanied in heat two by New Zealand's James Hamilton (42.5) and Nathan Johnstone from Australia (42.0). On the ladies side, the top three spots were taken by Clark (45.4), who showed a huge “Frontside Air”, “Back-to-back 540’s”, a “Method Air” and a “Frontside 720”, 2006 Olympic Champion Hannah Teter (USA, 43.1) and Australia’s Holly Crawford (41.9).
Some big names hope for second chance
Twelve men and six ladies fight for the last final spots in tomorrow’s semi finals which will take place just ahead the finals (1:45 PM) at 11 AM (CET). The ladies start list includes Torah Jane Bright (AUS), Queralt Castellet (ESP), US-American Gretchen Bleiler and Elena Hight as well as Norway’s Linn Haug and Kjersti Buaas. On the men’s side, five Swiss guys will try their best to make it to the finals. Besides Sergio Berger, Daniel Friberg and Rolf Feldmann from heat one, Christian Haller and Iouri Podladtchikov will drop in. Three more US-boys also hope for more as Dylan Bidez, Louie Vito and Matthew Ladley qualified for the semis. The last four spots were taken by Ben Mates (AUS), Aluan Ricciardi (FRA), last year’s winner Manuel Pietropoli (ITA) and Ho-Joon Kim from Korea.