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Olympic medalists Kim, Hirano ride Vail halfpipe to Burton U.S. Open victory

March 10, 2018, 11:53 am

Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim in the halfpipe on Golden Peak in Vail Saturday (Burton US Open photo).

Chloe Kim (USA) and Ayumu Hirano (JPN) earned the U.S. Open halfpipe titles at the 36th annual Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships on Saturday, adding their names to the legendary list of winners.

It was an incredible day of halfpipe riding as the field of 10 men and six women competed in Vail Mountain’s 22-foot halfpipe in a best of three-run finals format.

Two-time Olympic Halfpipe silver medalist Ayumu Hirano took the win in a heated men’s finals field. This is Ayumu’s first win at the Burton U.S. Open, but not his first time on the podium—he previously placed second in 2013 behind Shaun White and third in 2015.

Ayumu blasted through the pipe landing high on the tranny and absolutely charging into each trick—starting off with a huge Indy, into a frontside double cork 1440 Indy, switch frontside double cork 1080 Indy, frontside double cork 1260 Indy, ending with a backside double cork 1260 mute for a score of 89.62.

 Ayumu says, “The Burton U.S. Open is one of the first international contests I’ve ever come to, so I have a lot of feelings toward this contest. And coming back from last year’s injury it’s definitely a big win for me here. I’m stoked.”

 Raibu Katayama (JPN) landed in second place with an 86.75 and Scotty James (AUS) took third with a 83.62.

In the women’s field, Chloe Kim successfully defended her title for a third year in a row following her incredible gold medal win at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Kim kept the crowd on their toes, strategically revising her tricks to nail her final run linking up a huge backside air, into a frontside 1080 tail, switch frontside 720 Indy, frontside 900 tail, ending with a McTwist Indy for a top score of 85.87.

Kim says, “I feel like I was really pushing myself today. I had the best practice, landing solid back-to-back 10s. I was hoping I could put it down here in the contest, but I had to take a step back and play it a little safe.”

Coming off her huge win in PyeongChang and the ensuing media appearances, Kim was excited at the opportunity to defend her Burton U.S. Open title, saying, “I love this contest. There’s just so many smiles on everyone’s faces here. It’s always the most fun contest of the season.”

Maddie Mastro (USA) took second place with a score of 82.99, kicking off her run with a massive frontside 900 Indy, and Haruna Matsumoto (JPN) landed in third with a score of 78.25. Not only did Matsumoto land her first 1080 in competition Saturday, she also took the honor of becoming the first female Japanese rider to stand on the podium at the Burton U.S. Open.

Clif Bar awarded the Clif ‘Raise the Bar’ Awards rewarding creativity and style by spotlighting the best throwback trick in the halfpipe. Benjamin Ferguson (USA) won the men’s award with his Indy air-to-fakie on the first hit of the pipe. Kelly Clark (USA) won the award for the women with her stylish tuck knee frontside air.

The Burton U.S. Open party culminated Saturday night starting at 6:00pm MST with the Halfpipe Awards on the Solaris Concert Stage, followed by the free Burton Concert Series featuring Grammy award winning performer Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. The Late Night Live Music lineup featured Brothers Keeper w/ Special Guest Dean Ween at 10:00pm MST at Shakedown Bar.

Women’s Halfpipe Finals Results

  1. Chloe Kim (USA), BURTON, 85.87
  2. Maddie Mastro (USA), BILLABONG, 82.99
  3. Haruna Matsumoto (JPN), ROXY, 78.75
  4. Xuetong Cai (CHN), AUDI, 78.25
  5. Kelly Clark (USA), BURTON, 75.25
  6. Jiayu Liu (CHN), NIKE, 30.37

Men’s Halfpipe Finals Results

  1. Ayumu Hirano (JPN), NIKE, 89.62
  2. Raibu Katayama (JPN), BURTON, 86.75
  3. Scotty James (AUS), RED BULL, 83.62
  4. Ben Ferguson (USA), BURTON, 83.24
  5. Pat Burgener (SUI), SAMSUNG, 82.62
  6. Jake Pates (USA), ROCKSTAR, 74.62
  7. Derek Livingston, (CAN), 686, 67.99
  8. Naito Ando, (JPN), KISSMARK, 66.50
  9. Chase Josey (USA), ROCKSTAR, 39.00
  10. Jan Scherrer (SUI), NITRO, 31.87

For details on all things U.S. Open, follow the hashtag #BurtonUSOpen and head to BurtonUSOpen.com or download the official Burton U.S. Open app on your mobile device now through Google Play and the App Store. You’ll find a full list of invited riders, nightly live music, product demos, Burton Girls happenings, Kids Learn To Ride opportunities, and the history of the longest-running snowboard event in the world.

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