Wise and Bowman qualify to defend Olympic crowns

Wise and Bowman qualify to defend Olympic crowns
By Sportsbeat

13/01/2018 at 12:58Updated 13/01/2018 at 13:21

David Wise will be in Pyeongchang to defend his Olympic halfpipe title after qualifying for the USA team with a World Cup win on home soil at Snowmass.

Fellow American Maddie Bowman will also be in South Korea next month looking for back-to-back Olympic golds after finishing fourth in the women's event.

Canadian Cassie Sharpe took the World Cup win but Bowman secured her nomination having already earned two podium finishes.

The USA locked out the men's podium on home snow, Wise winning with a score of 95.00 on his first run, as Alex Ferreira came second with Aaron Blunck third.

It was a day dominated by the USA as they had six athletes in the final with Wise looking in good shape to defend his Olympic crown in PyeongChang.

"I'm on cloud nine. I don't think I started today with a goal of making the Olympic team. I'm trying to stay focus on what I'm doing," said Wise.

"I had one of the best practices in my life and I landed my run moments before we started the contest. And I just knew that whether it takes me three tries or not I'm going to land this run one time and if I land it, it has to do well.

"Honestly the level of skiing right now is the highest I've ever seen. It's a huge honour to be out there shredding. To sweep the podium today with Alex and Aaron it's just as good as it gets."

In the women's event, American Brita Sigourney recorded her first World Cup podium since 2015 but it was Canadian Sharpe who stood on the top step.

Sharpe's first run of 90.60 saw her lead the competition for most of the final and her final run of 93.20 sealed the victory ahead of Sigourney and Japan's Ayana Onozuka in third.

"I'm very excited. The pipe was awesome today, the conditions were good and I had a lot of fun. I feel ready for the Games and I think like it's going to be a really good time," Sharpe said.

The win has moved Sharpe into the lead in the halfpipe World Cup standings on 229 points with China's Zhang Kexin second with 209 and Marie Martinod of France third on 161.