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100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 18th August Update

Thursday August 18, 2011

All American victory and WSF Para-Snowboard World Cup

With the sport on the brink of being included in the Paralympics, 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games today its first WSF Para-Snowboard World Cup at Cardrona Alpine Resort, featuring a strong international field from both sides of the world.

It was an all-American victory with world number one, Amy Purdy, taking out the women’s in a combined best of 202.69 and Evan Strong, also world number one, taking out the men’s in 148.25.

“I’m surprised at how fast I went in my first run as I was taking it easy and just wanted to stay upright. My second run I somehow lost time in the middle section but it was my final run that was the quickest. It’s great to see an improvement overall and that’s what feels good, to know that you can improve and do better all the time. You’re always racing against yourself.”

Amy said the athletes were just waiting to see if snowboard cross would be included in the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. “It’s not a Paralympic sport at the moment but we’re due to find out any day. I think to bring a sport that a lot of our generation relates to will definitely benefit the Paralympics and it will really blur the line between able bodied and adaptive sport. We all raced really well here today and showed the sport has the ability to be included at Paralympic level.”

The men’s race was incredibly close between X Games gold medallist, Evan Strong and Carl Murphy (NZL), world number two, who took silver.

“That was one of the most fun World Cups this season,” said Strong. “It was nerve wracking in the morning with low visibility and the practice was rough as we couldn’t see very well. But the sun came out, softened up the course and made it way faster. It was fun racing with Carl, he’s an amazing snowboarder. On the first run he had 4/10 of a second on me so I had some pressure to push through. The second run put me in the lead by 2/10 of second but I know Carl is a fast racer and that he could easily take that up so I had to make sure I made my last run count and pushed through to take the win.”

Both athletes agreed Cardrona’s World Cup course was the best they’d ridden for an adaptive competition.

“The course was built beautifully, probably the best the world cup snowboard cross course we’ve ridden,” said Purdy. “It was perfect for all abilities – having prosthetics on both legs I don’t compress very well but once you get on long berms it’s fun to ride. It was a perfect mix and open enough for us all to ride well, no matter what your strength.”

As well as the competitive World Cup competition, today’s race also included the demonstration sport of sit ski on the gravity cross course Corie Peters (NZL) clocked the fastest time in 190.97 after just three weeks in a sit ski. In the women’s Gemma Fletcher taook first in 222.40.

The snowboard cross competition continues tomorrow with the FIS Continental Cup snowboard cross at Cardrona Alpine Resort from 9.00am.

Ice Blacks romp home against China

Ice Hockey at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games got off to an action packed start last night when the Ice Blacks faced China. What began as a goal for goal tussle ended in a runaway onslaught of goals by the Ice Blacks who went on to win the game 8-3.

China began on the back foot even before they set foot on the rink. Their late arrival in Dunedin, caused by cancelled flights because of weather disruption, meant they had limited time for practice, however their greatest handicap was having to leave behind in China nine of their players because of visa issues. Six local players, five from Dunedin Thunder, and the sixth a 16year old girl, Jamie Wood from the Southern Women’s team were recruited into their starting line up.

China came out on attack in the first period and put NZ Goal Keep Zac Nothling to the test. They finally broke through to score the first goal in the 16th minute. However China’s jubilation was short lived when two minutes later Joshua Hay scored to equalise for New Zealand. China pulled out more steam and went 2-1 up a minute and a half before the end of the first period.

New Zealand came out fired up in the second period with Simon Glass scoring within the first minute to take the score to 2-2. Jordan Challis then scored to put New Zealand in the lead only for China to equalise shortly after and the game was tied up at three all by the end of the second period.

The tide turned halfway through the third period when Chris Eaden, Ice Blacks highest scoring player, lived up to his reputation and slammed one home. It was to be the first of five goals scored in quick succession by the Ice Blacks and well and truly sealed the game much to the delight of the crowd.

Captain of the Ice Blacks, Cory Down said he was pleased with the team’s performance. “I think we demonstrated our fitness level and where we are at the end of the season. It’s great to see some of our younger players stepping up at this level.”

Cory Down is under no allusion that the Ice Blacks next game against Australia will be a far greater test. New Zealand last met Australia at the World Champs in March this year and lost 2-0.

Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan Repeat Their Performances of Yesterday Taking the Top Spots in Today’s Freeski Slopestyle at 100% Pure NZ Winter Games

The clouds parted over Snow Park today for the 100% Pure NZ Winter Games Freeski Slopestyle where America’s Gus Kenworthy Devin Logan were once again the winners after winning yesterday’s halfpipe competition at Cardrona.

The course included an urban rail set with three rail options for the first platform followed by a jib jump platform with a pole jam, tractor tyres and a 45 foot jump, next a 55/45 jump, a 65/55 jump and then finally the Air New Zealand Lily Pad at the bottom.

The men’s finals kept spectators at the edge of their seats with most of the field throwing clean linked left and right doubles and flips off the lily pad.

The first run saw Gus Kenworthy (USA), Jonas Hunziker (SUI) and Nicholas Goepper (USA) in the top three spots.

In the end it was Gus Kenworthy in the top position once again, with a first run score of 87.75 a score that proved hard to beat.

Kenworthy’s dub cork twelve mute on the first jump was a standout. The flow of his run was incredibly technical with a rodeo six thirty off the cannon box straight into a double cork twelve sixty mute into a switch right ten tailgrab into a switch 540 onto the lily pad and a rodeo 540 out.

Having already switched focus to the next competition on his schedule Kenworthy said, “It felt great to win again today, fingers crossed I’ll do the same on Saturday in the Big Air.”

In second was hometown boy Jossi Wells. “Jossi’s trick on the cannon box was unique and creative,” said Beattie. “He ollied on from the side with a four fifty off and then he went into a switch right side ten eighty tail grab to a switch left double cork ten and then he also did a switch 540 onto the lily pad with a nose butter five forty off.” Wells who also podiumed yesterday in second place, ended with a score of 83.00 today.

Rounding out the podium with 81.25 points was America’s Nicholas Goepper. Goepper was the only person in the top three who linked left and right doubles. It was his second run that bumped him into third taking the spot from Jonas Hunziker (SUI) who crashed on his second run.

The women’s field of ten elected to go straight to a three run final with AFP’s overall champion Logan topping the podium for the second day in a row having won yesterday’s halfpipe competition.

“Her run today was solid,” said judge Victoria Beattie. “The cork seven was a stand out trick.”

Logan started her run with a lip slide to switchout on the downrail, then frontside to two seventy out on the up cannon box and then a switch five to cork seven to a straight on 360 out of the last feature and scored 79.75 points.

An amped Logan was thrilled with her win, “I’m more stoked than ever right now. The switch five was new to me and I’m happy with how it went. The competition with Kim Lamarre was strong; she put me to the test and I knew I had to give it my all to win today.”

In second, it was Kim Lamarre , the top ranked slopestyle skier in today’s competition. Lamarre was tight on the heels of Logan with less than one point separating them. Her run which oozed with style included a lipslide to switch on the downrail and then switch on to switch out of the cannon rail to a switch five safety to a big five forty mute to switch one in to a one eighty out on the bottom lily pad. She ended with 79.25 points just .5 off of Logan’s top score.

In third place was Canadian Dara Howell finishing her day with 70.5 points.

New Zealand’s up and coming skier Rose Battersby just missed the podium, skiing strongly and hitting the big side of the jumps with a big seven twenty on the final jump. She’s someone to watch out for in the future.

The day started with 41 men vying for a total of 12 spots in the finals. The first men’s heat was heavily dominated by the Swiss with three of the top six spots going to Kai Mahler, Cyrill Hunziker, Yannic Lerjen. Number one through the Heat One qualifiers was yesterday’s halfpipe winner Gus Kenworthy (USA) followed by PC Fosse (NOR.

The second heat of the men’s qualifiers saw USA’s Joss Christensen, Christopher Laker and Nicholas Goepper first, second and third respectively followed by New Zealand’s Jossi Wells and Canada’s Vincent Gagnier and the final two through were Erik Hughes (USA) and Jonas Hunziker (SUI).

“After the qualification rounds we were expecting Joss Christensen to do well in the finals,,” said Beattie. “Unfortunately he couldn’t put a clean run down and finished in eighth place.”

Catch all the action on Sky Sports

For all our New Zealand followers, don't forget to tune in each night to Sky Sports 3 at 9pm and catch all the latest action from 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games.

Tonight's programme is dedicated to yesterday's Freeski Halfpipe at Cardrona staring big names Jossi Wells, Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan. Also featured are highlights from yesterday's downtown awards ceremony at Lake Wanaka.

Don't miss any of the action - tonight's programme will be repeated at 600am tomorrow morning on Sky Sports 1 and at midday on Sky Sports 2.

Keep up to date with all of tomorrow's action on Twitter/Facebook

Keep up to date with the action as it happens on the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games Facebook and Twitter pages.

www.facebook.com/WinterGamesNZ

http://twitter.com/#!/wintergamesnz

ENDS


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