Canada’s Elizabeth Hosking claims silver in World Cup snowboard halfpipe

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Canadian snowboarder Elizabeth Hosking capped her World Cup halfpipe season Friday the same way she started, which was standing on the podium.

The 21-year-old from Longueuil, Que., finished second in Calgary’s halfpipe to Japan’s Mitsuki Ono.

Hosking earned her first career World Cup medal — also silver — in Copper Mountain, Colo., to start the season in December.

Ono posted a top score of 89.75 on her second run Friday evening under the lights.

She claimed the crystal globe that goes to the season’s overall World Cup winner.

Hosking, who scored 86 on her second pass through the pipe, vaulted from fourth to second in the season standings behind Ono.

“Great start to this World Cup season with a second and I’m super happy to finish the season with a second in Canada at home — not home-home, but in Canada on home soil,” Hosking said.

Hosking landed an Alley Oop 540, in which she takes off spinning in the opposite direction of her downhill momentum, on her second of three runs.

“I was the only one to do it tonight and the judges seemed to like that a lot,” she said.

Switzerland’s Berenice Wicki, with a score of 72.50, narrowly edged Calgary’s Brooke D’Hondt’s 72.25 for bronze.

Four Canadian women reached the final, but no Canadian men advanced.

Calgary’s Felicity Geremia, 15, and Jenna Walker, 17, placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the first World Cup finals of their careers.

Hosking competed in her fourth event in as many weeks, including January’s Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., where she placed seventh.


Calgary’s World Cup also served as an international warm-up for the world snowboard championship starting next week in Bakuriani, Georgia.

Some skipped Calgary, however, with 11 women competing in halfpipe.

“It’s been a really intense season,” Hosking said. “Four weeks of back-to-back of competition. Definitely, I think going into world championships some people took a little bit (of time) off.

“I couldn’t miss this event in Canada. There was fatigue accumulating this week, but tonight I think it was all excitement. This is my first World Cup actually under the lights.”

Hosking placed sixth in Beijing’s Winter Olympics last year.

The men’s and women’s finals were delayed Friday by half an hour because of wind.

“It was definitely breezy, but more so in the practice,” Hosking said.

“It really toned down quite a bit. Surprisingly, you didn’t feel it much in the halfpipe.”

Japan’s Ruka Hirano struck gold in the men’s final with a top score of 88.50.

Australia’s Valentino Guseli finished 6.50 points out of first, but beat out Japan’s Shuichiro Shigeno by 0.25 for silver.

Hirano took the men’s season crown ahead of runner-up Guseli and Australia’s Scotty James in third.

Calgary’s snowboard “Snow Rodeo” continues with men’s and women’s slopestyle qualifying Saturday followed by Sunday’s final under the lights again.

Reigning X Games slopestyle champion Mark McMorris of Regina won’t compete in Calgary because of a scheduling conflict with Red Bull’s backcountry Natural Selection Tour.

Darcy Sharpe of Comox, B.C., who was the X Games slopestyle champion in 2020, and 2018 Olympic silver medallist Laurie Blouin of Quebec City are in the field.

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