Iouri Podladtchikov - the iPod – came out to the semis fully charged, blowing away the competition with his first run before treating us to another lesson in style in his second.
The snow looked in slightly better shape this evening; soon after the daylight ended the pipe hardened enough for a semi… final, not giving the riders the grief they were getting earlier in the day.
He didn’t put down anything particularly mind-blowing in his winning run but was still going way bigger than the rest of the competition, even squeezing his last hit into the very end section of the pipe.
Greg Bretz also chose to style out his second run, risking his first score of 83.00. The gamble paid off and he joins his team mates Shaun White and Danny Davis in the finals. It would be interesting to see which one out of that pair he chooses to sit next to on the bus…
The Methos Man, Kent Callister, again treated us to his mind-melting backscratcher and came third with 79.50, a surprise for us as we hadn’t really heard of the Aussie until now. Pretty sure it won’t long until he grabs a cover with that method though.
On the other end of the style spectrum, Yiwei Zhang now will be able to showcase his boot grabs, tindys and nutes in the final; a little part of snowboarding died today. However, we liked his team mate Wancheng Shi with his back-to-back-to-back doubles, a possible contender for a sneaky medal? This new Asian invasion of halfpipe is throwing up some great new faces, both China and Japan now have two riders in the final each.
Tim-Kevin Ravnjak, or TK-Maxx, was the last to qualify and therefore the first to drop, just edging out Nate Johnstone from the bubble, bad luck for the Aussie. Both the frenchies, as well as Taylor Gold and Seamus O’Connor, were eliminated too, none of them looking particularly happy about it.
Bam! Finals next, the list of finalists is below, do join us on our live blog via this link.
Men’s Halfpipe Finals