Reigning Olympic gold medallist Torah Bright showed her rivals that her comeback is progressing strongly with an impressive fourth place while defending World Champion and AIS/NSWIS rider, Nate Johnstone finished the final in sixth.
Given the quality of the field and the athletes who finished in the first five places of the men’s final – Shaun White, Louie Vito, Taku Hiraoka, Christian Haller and Ayumu Hirano – Johnstone’s sixth place is a great early season result.
Australian Institute of Sport halfpipe program coach Ben Alexander labeled Johnstone’s performance as “particularly positive” with the World Championships in Stoneham, Canada, just four weeks away.
“Anybody who is a big name in halfpipe was there so Nate was very pleased to be invited to compete,” Alexander said.
“It would have been nicer to finish higher in the results but sixth in that list is still very impressive.”
In other results, Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, 17-year-old Kent Callister, showed why big things are expected of him in the future when he finished 18th in the semi-final.
AIS/NSWIS scholarship holder and 2011 World Champion Holly Crawford, who missed most of last season with an injury, took another step in her comeback when she finished 9th in the semis.
American Kaitlyn Farrington picked up the winner’s prize, followed by Spain’s Querait Castellet, American Maddy Schaffrick, Torah Bright from Australia and American Kelly Clark in fifth place.