The Freestyle Halfpipe in Secret Garden (CHN) was moved from 22 December to the 20th, but it didn’t matter to Simon d’Artois (CAN), who won his first-ever World Cup Halfpipe title with a dominating performance.
D’Artois authored a sensational series, taking the lead in the first round with an excellent 91.25, with Nico Porteous (NZL) reaching 88.00 for second. In the next round, d’Artois improved to 92.00, while Porteous reached 89.50, still in second. Then d’Artois exploded in the final round with an impressive 93.50, which proved to be the winning mark.
It’s not like d’Artois hasn’t been on the podium before, with three career bronze medals – all in the last two seasons – but this was his first win. He’s won his four medals in four different countries – really in four different regions – in China, in New Zealand (2017), the U.S. (2017) and France (2018).
Like d’Artois, China’s Kexin Zhang led the women’s Halfpipe from start to finish, reaching 84.75 in the first round and then 87.75 in the second round. But she did have some company, with Canada’s Rachael Barker at 85.75 moving from third to second in the final round, ahead of Fanghui Li (CHN), who shot out to 83.75 in the second round.
Zhang defended her title from 2017 at Secret Garden; the win was her second ever and third World Cup career medal. Summaries:
FIS Freestyle World Cup
Secret Garden (CHN) ~ 20 December 2018
(Full results here)
Men’s Halfpipe: 1. Simon d’Artois (CAN), 93.50; 2. Nico Porteous (NZL), 89.50; 3. Hunter Hess (USA), 85.50; 4. Thomas Krief (FRA), 79.25; 5. Brendan Mackay (CAN), 78.50. Also: 7. Cassidy Jarrell (USA), 74.50; … 9. Jaxin Hoerter (USA), 70.50.
Women’s Halfpipe: 1. Kexin Zhang (CHN), 87.75; 2. Rachael Karker (CAN), 85.75; 3. Fanghui Li (CHN), 83.75; 4. Abigale Hansen (USA), 77.25; 5. Yurie Watabe (JPN), 73.75.