Winter Olympics 2022 - Nico Porteous takes gold in the halfpipe final, Team GB’s Gus Kenworthy finishes eighth
Treacherous conditions in the the men’s freeski halfpipe final caused havoc as Great Britain’s Gus Kenworthy bowed out of his professional skiing career with an eighth-place finish. Nico Porteous - representing New Zealand - claimed the golden prize whilst Team USA’s David Wise took silver and compatriot Alex Ferreira secured a bronze medal.
‘Wow!' – ‘Different level’ Porteous tames weather to take halfpipe gold
A big score of 90.75 from Wise was enough to knock fellow American Ferreira off the top spot, before a stunning run from New Zealand’s Porteous stole the show as back-to-back 16s put him in the lead with a 93-pointer that proved good enough for gold.
“That is a different level to what we’ve seen from anyone else!” Eurosport commentator Ian Findlay said.
Kenworthy felt the effects of the strong winds and suffered a huge hit to the body when he came down heavily on the lip of the halfpipe, but despite another poor score on the board, seemed to be ok.
‘He tried to rescue it!’ – Gold medal-winner lands on head during halfpipe final
Ferreira responded brilliantly after being nudged off the top of the standings. To his surprise he only managed a score of 83.75, but he kept hold of his third-place spot to set himself up for the all-important final run.
Wise fell and took a bang to the head on his second attempt after falling face down onto the snow, failing to capitalise on his opening run that had him in second position going into the closing round.
Riders were cautious throughout the second run after Kenworthy’s fall, with tough conditions and high winds, and it became difficult to execute tricks. Leader Porteous had to end his second run early after a huge gust of wind caused him to lose his amplitude.
“I think the contest should be suspended right now, but the trouble is we’re two runs in," Findlay said. “It’s not ideal, I don’t think these are the right conditions for an Olympic final."
‘How has he got on his feet?’ – Watch as ‘absolute warrior’ Kenworthy walks off horror smash
Kenworthy kicked off the final round with a respectable score of 71.25 to secure eighth place in the final run of his career.
Birk Irving looked as though he was on a run to upset the odds in the podium positions, but he took a fall on the final hit to prevent any medal chance.
There were two more heavy falls in the final couple of runs as Porteous and Aaron Blunk felt the full effect of the hard snow, but the former held on to claim gold, while Wise managed silver and Ferreira settled for bronze.
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