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Wise leaves it late to retain halfpipe gold in freestyle skiing

By Jack Tarrant

February 22. 2018 12:33AM
David Wise of the U.S. competes in the ski halfpipe final. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

David Wise of the U.S. celebrates with his wife Alexandra and their children Nayeli and Malachi after winning the ski halfpipe event. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — David Wise of the United States retained his ski halfpipe Olympic title with a scintillating final run on Thursday.

After two mediocre efforts, Wise got it right at the third time of asking, scoring 97.20 in the final round to push compatriot Alex Ferreira (96.40) into second place.

16-year-old New Zealander Nico Porteous claimed the bronze medal with a score of 94.80.

Ferreira, who scored more than 90 points in all three runs, led going into the final round but Wise, who had failed to go clean on his first two attempts, delivered four double corks to match the gold he won when the event made its debut in Sochi.

With six of the top 10 skiers in the World Cup rankings hailing from the United States, many had predicted an All-American podium sweep.

However, Porteous had other ideas as he produced a stunning second run that belied his age to secure New Zealand’s second bronze medal of the day.

Fellow 16-year-old Zoi Sadowski-Synnott won New Zealand’s first Winter Olympics medal since 1992 earlier on Thursday morning in the women’s snowboard big air.

(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by John O’Brien)

Skiing Winter Olympics