Cai earns third career halfpipe gold while Lee makes history

by Chandler
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The silver medal would go to Elizabeth Hosking (CAN), as the 21-year-old became the first Canadian woman ever to hit the halfpipe World Championships podium with her 85.50-scoring first run.

With the biggest top-to-bottom amplitude of any in the women’s finals, Hosking’s run began with a backside 540 Weddle grab, into a massive frontside 720 where she just tickled the melon grab, into a switch crippler with a frontside grab, then a corked frontside 540 frontside grab, before finish it all off with an alley-oop frontside 540 frontside grab.

Third place and the bronze medal belonged to Mitsuki Ono of Japan, as the top qualifier from Wednesday came through with a second run that started off with a switch frontside 720 frontside grab, into a frontside 540 tail grab, then a backside 540 Weddle, then a frontside 720 frontside grab, and finally a switch frontside 900 melon to end it with a bang and earn Japan’s first women’s halfpipe World Championships medal since 2017.

LEE BECOMES FIRST KOREAN FIS WORLD CHAMPION, YOUNGEST FIS SNOWBOARD WORLD CHAMPION

Over on the men’s side of things it was 16-year-old Chaeun Lee facing down a stacked field of the world’s finest and walking away as the new halfpipe gold medallist as well as the youngest World Champion in the history of FIS Snowboard, eclipsing the mark set by Ross Powers (USA) at the Lienz 1996 World Championships by 22 days.

Not only that, and perhaps an even bigger story, is the fact that Lee also became the first ever Korean FIS World Champion in any discipline

The reigning halfpipe Junior World Champion and big air JWC bronze medallist (and a strong slopestyle competitor, to boot), Lee has been on the cusp of breaking through at snowboarding’s most elite level throughout his rookie campaign this year, earning a spot in finals at every World Cup in 2022/23 and finishing just off the podium in fourth two times.

On Friday in Bakuriani that breakthrough finally came on the grandest stage of the season with Lee’s explosive third and final run.

Leading off with a massive frontside double cork 1440 frontside grab, Lee then launched straight into the switch stance version of the same trick, following that cab 1440 up with a frontside double 1260 frontside grab, then a backside double cork 1260 Indy, before capping it off with a frontside 900 melon.

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