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Four Top Ten Finishes For Kiwi Free Skiers

PRESS RELEASE – 23/3/06

Four Top Ten Finishes For Kiwi Free Skiers

It’s been a week of success for New Zealand’s free skiers with four top 10 finishes in the space of a week. Cat Smiley from Hamilton took out fifth in the women’s World Cup Halfpipe in Apex, Canada while Wanaka’s Lyndon Sheehan and Jossi Wells took out fifth and tenth respectively in the men’s.

Smiley put together a very solid run featuring a five foot 540 while Sheehan went the biggest of the day launching an 18 to 20 foot mute grab, backing it with an Alli Oop to Mute 900 to an unnatural 540 which put him just 0.3 points away from the podium.

“It was a small pipe so I was trying to get heaps of height. However because it had been cut over vert I landed on the deck in both my final runs which saw me finish in 10th, despite qualifying in fourth,” said Wells.

Sheehan qualified in ninth place but two good runs in the final saw him leap to fifth.

On the other side of the Atlantic, big mountain skier, Andrew Gowans of Nelson, earned himself second in the prestigious Red Bull Snowthrill in Monterosa, Italy. The competition featured 20 invited top big mountain skiers who were judged over three days on their line selection, control rhythm, technique and aggressiveness. Gowans was in the lead after day one but was eventually beaten by Argentina’s Oscar Sosa.

New Zealand team coach, Martin Jillings said it has been an outstanding international season for the Kiwis, “The whole team has taken major steps up with a number of top 10 finishes. Next year is the FIS Halfpipe World Championships in Italy and I feel we’re on track for the top five, although gold is the goal.”

-ends-

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