ALTS Bandai - March 2, 2008: Another sunny day greeted hundreds of screaming fans as riders competed in the Halfpipe at the Swatch TTR FIVE(5)STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open. US Halfpipe machine Keir Dillon took the men’s top spot but all eyes were turned to 06/07 TTR Tour Champion Torah Bright from Australia who not only won the women’s Halfpipe in Japan, but also moved into TTR World No. 1. Bright now sits just a few points ahead of TTR World No. 2 Jamie Anderson (USA) who did not qualify for the Halfpipe final.
Bright took an early lead with her first Halfpipe run of the day after only qualifying 7th for the finals. A fall on her second attempt pushed her to better her score on her third and final attempt that included a FS 5, a massive McTwist, her signature stylish Air to Fakie Tailgrab, an epic Cab 7, finally ending with a BS Alley-oop Indy 3. Now as the Women’s Tour leader, Bright will be looking to keep her Tour lead through the rest of the season and defend her Tour Championship:
"It feels really good to be leading the TTR world tour at the moment," said Bright after her Title win. “I’m just hoping that I can keep up the consistency at the contests to stay up on top until the Roxy Chicken Jam and take the TTR title once again. But anybody can take it from me at anytime. It’s still a tight race to the end with Jamie, Kelly and Jenny. It would be amazing to get two in a row, maybe the hat trick. I’d like a hat trick. I thought it was always special in cricket to get a hat trick."
Gretchen Bleiler (USA) who finished second in the Women’s Halfpipe in Japan is now in the TTR Top 40. Bleiler stomped one of the best runs of the day starting things off with a crippler going straight into a nice method. She turned things up a notch with her third hit going into a FS 9 Melon, followed by a BS Indy and finishing with a FS 7 Lien Air. Manuela Pesko from Switzerland finished 3rd and is now just inside the TTR Top 20. Pesko’s run included a BS 5 Mute, a FS 7 Lien Air, a Cab 3 Mute, a FS Air and a BS 7 Mute.
The Men’s Swatch TTR Top 5 remains unchanged for the time being. Keir Dillon sits just above the TTR Top 50 with his third Halfpipe result this season. Dillon stomped the best run of the day by far, going for a huge ‘Keir Roll’ 900 Indy, into a Crippler Tail, followed by a BS inverted 5 Indy, a FS Inverted 9 melon and ending his run with an Alley-oop McTwist 7. Local Japanese rider Kazuhiro Kokubo who finished 2nd behind Keir Dillon now sits at TTR World No. 11. His run started off with a sky-high Chuckflip Nose, into a FS 10 Tail, a Cab 7, a FS 7 and finally a Cab 9. Finnish rider Janne Korpi who rounded out the men’s podium remains in World No. 12 with his 3rd place run that consisted of a Cab 10 Tail, a FS 10 Melon, a Cab 9, a BS 5 Indy, ending with a BS Alley-oop Chuck Flip.
With just a handful of FIVE(5) and SIX(6)STAR competitions left on the Tour, opportunities to earn high amounts of valuable TTR ranking points are narrowing down. If riders wish to grab hold a part of the Swatch TTR $250 000 end-of-season prize purse and go for the Tour Title, now is the time to step things up. The Tour continues this week with the FIVE(5)STAR Aesthetiker Waengl Taengl in Mayrhofen, Austria. Also coming up soon are the FIVE(5)STAR World Superpipe Championships in Park City, USA. Stay tuned to www.ttrworldtour.com for updated ranking changes, videos, blogs, and breaking news from events around the world.
Top Ten Final HP Results for Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open
1. Keir Dillon USA 2. Kazuhiro Kokubo JPN 3. Janne Korpi FIN 4. Daisuke Murakami JPN 5. Keito Kumazaki JPN 6. Itaru Fujinuma JPN 7. Kohei Kudo JPN 8. Hiroki Suwa JPN 9. Toni-Markus Turunen FIN 10. Rikuya Narita JPN
1. Torah Bright AUS 2. Gretchen Bleiler USA 3. Manuela Pesko SUI 4. Soko Yamaoka JPN 5. Ellery Hollingsworth USA 6. Yayoi Tamura JPN 7. Shiho Nakashima JPN 8. Keiko Ohkura JPN 9. Kelly Clark USA 10. Rika Hatta JPN