MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CALIFORNIA – Ayana Onozuka, the Sochi Olympic bronze medalist, captured her first women’s freestyle ski halfpipe title of the season at a World Cup event on Friday.
The 27-year-old Onozuka, a former giant slalom skier who switched to halfpipe when it became an Olympic sport, prevailed with 85.00 points in the final that was limited to one run due to bad weather.
“My performance was OK,” Onozuka said after her second career World Cup win. “The conditions were far from great so I did well under the circumstances.”
Onozuka, who won last season’s halfpipe title, timed her start to coincide with a lull in the winds. She nailed her backward double cork despite being off balance, and credited her enhanced accuracy on grabs and on switching into skiing backward, techniques she had been working on.
“I’ve taken in all the things I’ve been working on and I could give out everything I could,” she said. “You’re not going to win unless you can do things other competitors can’t.”
American Devin Logan was second with 80.40 points, while Janina Kuzma of New Zealand was third with 74.00. Saori Suzuki placed fourth with 64.40.