03/12/2009 | by Anna Langer
Australian Torah Bright and the Japanese Kazuhiro Kokubo won the second Halfpipe Competition of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup 2009/2010 against the world elite of the freestyle talents. Kokubo was on fire in the perfect shaped super pipe of Saas-Fees freestyle park Allalin. With a clean first run and spectacular jumps he claimed the victory ahead of Mathieu Crepel (FRA) and Peetu Piiroinen (FIN). On the ladies’ side Torah Bright dominated on the sunny day with two faultless runs and left Xuetong Cai (CHN) and Sophie Rodriguez (FRA) behind.
After Kokubos clean first run all other riders had to do better in the second. But no one could reach his level of riding today, what the winner realized right after the competition: “I didn’t expect to win here against the strong international riders. But it’s a great feeling and an honour definitely”. Very pleased was also second placed Mathieu Crepel about his performance at the World Cup: “It was a great day in a great pipe. It’s really good to be back after dealing with two injuries within the past six months”. And even Piioinen could not catch the Japanese even with big tricks like the Alley-oop backside rodeo and a cap 1080. “I can do better, but I’m pleased with my riding and the third rank here in Saas-Fee”, described the Fin his performance.
Torah Bright demonstrated impressively why she definitely belongs to the world’s best freestyle ladies. She amazed the spectators and judges likewise with technical and spectacular jumps like the cap 720. “I was so glad that we had a good weather today, it’s much more fun then. I had to get used to the pipe first, but then I could demonstrate some good runs”, so the young rider from Down-Under. Also second placed Cai was pretty happy: “I felt really good today. Unfortunately some of my hits were too short, but I’ll keep on practicing and hope to perform a great run at the Olympics in a couple of months”. The third placed Rodriguez also didn’t have a reason to complain: “It was the first time I landed my planned run. So I’m for sure really happy and hope to keep that level and can even improve some tricks this season”.