Cardrona NZ freeskier Beau-James Wells (Wanaka) has defended his Junior World title, taking first place in halfpipe at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Freestyle Skiing Junior World Championships in Italy overnight.
The snow rolled in just in time for the event, slowing competitors’ speed and making for tougher than expected conditions. However, with a strong practice session under his belt and memories of his 2014 World Championship win still fresh in his mind, Wells’ first run proved to be the gold medal winning effort and his score of 90.80 could not be touched by any of his fellow competitors.
“I’m very happy,” commented Beau-James, who also won a silver medal in Slopestyle on Saturday. “It’s a good way to finish.” At 19 years old, this will be Beau’s final year of competition at Junior level.
Jake Mageau (USA) scored an 82.80, also on his first run of the day, to take the silver medal, while Birk Irving (USA) snuck onto the podium thanks to his strong showing on his final run.
The 12 man, three-run final saw two other Kiwis in action, with Finn Bilous (Wanaka) coming away with a seventh place finish and Miguel Porteous (Christchurch) finishing 12th.
Strong performances at the FIS Freestyle Skiing Junior World Championships as well as at the FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships earlier this month mean that New Zealand has now secured the maximum number of quota spots – one for each discipline freeski and snowboard, slopestyle and halfpipe – for next year’s Youth Olympic Winter Games.
Full results here: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=FS&raceid=8535
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