Olympic bronze medallist Nico Porteous has capped a sensational year on snow by winning the freeski halfpipe crown at the world junior championships in Cardrona today.
Porteous, the 16-year-old who stunned the skiing world with his third placing at the PyeongChang Olympics early this year, won on his home course with a fine second run which scored 93.80.
He had gone into the final as top qualifier but an iffy landing on his first run of three dropped him to second behind Birk Ruud of Norway.
However Porteous regained his composure and delivered on his second run, executing a technical run with a left double 1260 and an alley-oop flat spin 540 to pip American Dylan Ladd and Ruud.
”This means a lot. It’s my first junior world champs and to come away with the win is really cool,” Porteous said.
”It’s all about going forward from now on.”
Speaking before the worlds, Wanaka-based Porteous admitted he had no idea whether he would be among the favourites for the title, and wouldn’t be thinking in those terms.
”I wouldn’t really know. The only thing I can control is how I’m going to ski.
”You can’t control what other people think, so I don’t worry too much about that,” he said.
Another New Zealand skier Ben Harrington was in third until Ladd came through with a sizzling 92.8 on his final run to grab second and relegate Harrington to fourth behind Ruud.
The women’s top qualifier Kelly Sildaru of Estonia won the women’s title from Russian Valeriya Demidova and China’s Kexin Zhang.