X Games Aspen 2016 – Chloe Kim Wins Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe

Comfortable victory for the 15-year-old

[series align=left]X Games loves a rivalry narrative, and in the run-up to the women’s pipe it was all about Chloe Kim versus Kelly Clark. While that had certainly been the case at last year’s event, and at the 2015 US Open, last night was a one-woman show.

Chloe very nearly had it sewn up on her first run. A 13-foot backside air was followed with a frontside 1080 tailgrab, cab 7 melon, front 5 indy and McTwist. Landing her last hit, an alley-oop backside 5, would have given her the top spot by a mile, but she sketched out to leave Arielle Gold in 1st place.

After winning at the Laax Open, Arielle was clearly hungry for more, and her first run started strong with a front 9, Michalchuck and crippler. The amplitude abandoned her for her final few spins, but it was miles ahead of what the rest of the field had achieved in the tricky conditions – with the exception of Cai Xuetong.

The Chinese rider was one of the few to stick two clean runs, and her second attempt – which culminated in a crowd-leasing air to fakie – was good enough to keep her compatriot Liu Jiayu at bay to take 3rd. It couldn’t compare to Chloe, though, who eventually stuck a full run that earned her a 95.00 and a comfortable first place.

As the rest of the field dropped (and we were treaded to such fascinating facts as to what pets they have or how many times they change their clothes per day), it was clear that no-one is even close to Chloe when she’s on form. The much hyped battle with Kelly wasn’t to be, as the veteran slammed on two runs and only did well enough for 5th place with her one clean attempt. Likewise Elena Hight couldn’t stomp her trademark alley-oop double rodeo, and Hannah Teter (a late replacement for a concussed Torah Bright) was nowhere near the medals either.

If anyone wants to stop Chloe showing them a clean pair of heels come the US Open (or at any event for the foreseeable future), they’re going to have to work insanely hard. We could be looking at an era of pipe domination not seen since, well, Kelly Clark.

1st – Chloe Kim, 95.00
2nd – Arielle Gold, 86.00
3rd – Cai Xuetong, 80.33
4th – Jia Yu Liu, 76.00
5th – Kelly Clark, 74.00
6th – Hannah Teter, 67.33
7th – Maddie Mastro, 64.00
8th – Elena Hight, 59.66

Check out the rest of the schedule for X Games 2016 here

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