Japan sweeps halfpipe globes as Ono and Hirano dominate

by Matt
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“I’m so happy to win and get the crystal globe,” Ono said from the finish area, “Calgary is one of my favourite places, because I got my first World Cup podium here three years ago. I still can’t believe this though. I’m so happy. Thank to everyone for supporting me, I really appreciate it.”

Second place on the day – and second place on the final halfpipe World Cup rankings – went to Canada’s own Elizabeth Hosking with a score of 86.00. With some of the biggest and most stylish tricks in the women’s field, Hosking was just a couple of small bobbles away from possibly stealing top spot on the evening from Ono. Hosking seems destined for her first career international win very soon, but on Friday she would instead have to settle for her second career World Cup podium and her first on home soil.

Third place on the night for the women was Switzerland’s Berenice Wicki, as the 20-year-old earned the first World Cup podium of her career with a 72.50-scoring first run. While Ono and Hosking were in a league of their own on Friday night, Wicki’s solid riding despite the wind in the first run gave her a deserved first international competition top-3.

Ono finished the season with 360 halfpipe World Cup points, while Hosking would end up with 237. Finishing in third on the women’s halfpipe season standings with 179 points was the USA’s Maddie Mastro – the first time the 23-year-old has finished the season in the top-3. Unfortunately, Mastro took a heavy slam in qualifications on Thursday and wasn’t on hand for finals in Calgary. We wish her the best in her recovery.

HIRANO FINALLY RISES TO TOP WITH FIRST GLOBE VICTORY

Over on the men’s side of things a little bit of the season-ending drama was taken out of proceedings when Scotty James (AUS) was forced to withdraw from competition on qualification day due to illness.

With James out of the crystal globe equation, all Ruka Hirano had to do was finish fourth place or better to ensure the globe win, and he did all that and more, matching his teammate Ono by blasting his way to a third straight World Cup victory in impressive fashion.

Already in the lead after his first run, Hirano kicked things up a notch in run three, opening with a switch backside 1080 weddle, mirroring that with a backside 1080 weddle, then a massive frontside 1440 indy, into a cab double 1080 stalefish, and then frontside double 1260 indy to finish things off with a score of 88.50 and his fifth career World Cup win.

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