It was another eye-popping day of competition up in Vail, CO yesterday with the Burton US Open 2014 halfpipe semi finals going down in a fast, perfectly groomed halfpipe.
Chinese ripper Yiwei Zhang posted the highest score of the day in the men's comp, while Kelly Clark put down an authoritative second run to top the women's field. Crowd favourite and all-round boss Danny Davis failed to make it through to finals.
Read on for full details of the pipe semi finals and to watch Yiwei's top scoring run.
Vail, CO (March 6, 2014) — It was a stellar second day at the 32nd annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI at Vail Mountain, as world class riders put on a show at the halfpipe semi-finals. 16 women and 31 men had two runs to perform for a spot in Saturday's anticipated final. In the end, it was Kelly Clark (USA) and Yiwei Zhang (CHN) with the highest scores of the day in the 22-foot superpipe. A total of six women and 10 men are moving on for their chance at the Burton US Open halfpipe title.
2014 Olympic bronze medalist Kelly Clark upped her first run score of an 82.20 with an 87.53 on her second. Clark's run was complete with a huge frontside 1080, Cab 720, frontside air, backside 540 double tail grab, frontside 540 indy, and a method air. She will advance to go for an unprecedented seventh US Open halfpipe title on Saturday.
"Last year this pipe was the best pipe we rode all year and I didn't know if that was just a one time thing," said Clark. "After riding now, it wasn't just a one time thing. It's perfect."
Right behind Clark was Queralt Castellet (ESP) in second and Chloe Kim (USA) in third. Tune into the women's halfpipe finals live from Vail on Saturday, beginning at 11:30am MST (7:30pm CET) right here.
After the women's semi-finals 31 men showcased their abilities in the halfpipe, with 2014 Chinese Olympian, Yiwei Zhang, soaring his way into first position. Zhang's furious second run included a method air, frontside double 1080, Cab double cork 1080 indy to mute grab, frontside double 1260, double barrel roll, and a frontside 1080 tailgrab, scoring an 93.00
Taylor Gold (USA) came in second and Ben Ferguson (USA) took third.
"It's such a relief," said Gold. "I didn't really know if it was going to happen coming in because I've had some trouble in the last few contests, so I was happy to get in with my first run score."
Watch the top 10 men from semi-finals battle it out for the 2014 Burton US Open halfpipe title and the $45,000 first place cash purse, on Saturday beginning at 2pm MST (10pm CET) here.
Women's Halfpipe Semi-Final Results:
1. Kelly Clark (USA), BURTON, 87.53
2. Queralt Castellet (ESP), YONEX, 85.40
3. Chloe Kim (USA), BURTON, 78.83
4. Hannah Teter (USA), BURTON, 74.08
5. Sophie Rodriguez (FRA), OAKLEY, 72.90
6. Rana Okada (JPN), BURTON, 72.78
Men's Halfpipe Semi-Final Results:
1. Yiwei Zhang (CHN), MINI, 93.00
2. Taylor Gold (USA), BURTON, 84.38
3. Ben Ferguson (USA), BURTON, 81.85
4. Gabe Ferguson (USA), BURTON, 80.50
5. Jake Pates (USA), BURTON, 79.63
6. David Habluetzel (SUI), BURTON, 78.80
7. Louie Vito (USA), VIVE, 78.65
8. Taku Hiraoka (JPN), BURTON, 77.35
9. Kent Callister (AUS), LIB TECH, 76.28
10. Christian Haller (SUI), BURTON, 75.28