(LAAX – January 16, 2020) – The LAAX OPEN 2020 continued today with the Halfpipe Semi-Finals. Another sunny day welcomed riders and spectators up on Crap Sogn Gion and the 200 meters long LAAX Superpipe was shining in its full glory. Queralt Castellet (SPA) and Scotty James (AUS) are heading into finals as semi-finals winners and therefore as top favorites for the Halfpipe titles at Europe’s longest-running Snowboard event.
In the women’s semi-finals the highly traded US girls Maddie Mastro and Zoe Kalapos surprisingly didn’t made the cut of six today. On the other hand 5 Asian ladies will be riding in Saturday’s Night Finals. This is a first! Xuetong Cai/CHN (2nd), Jiayu Liu/CHN (3rd), Haruna Matsumoto/JPN (4th) Ruki Tomita/JPN (5th) and Leng Qiu/CHN (6th) all qualified today. The highest score of the day went to Queralt Castellet from Spain who is no stranger to the LAAX OPEN podium as she ended up 2nd at the 2019 LAAX OPEN already. Castellet, without a doubt ahead of all ladies today, is the only European rider in this year’s final.
In the men’s semi-finals to no surprise title defender Scotty James (AUS) lived up to his role as the man to beat and heads into finals clearly dominating the comp today. Again the US riders demonstrated the strength of their team with 5 riders moving on, namely Taylor Gold (3rd), Jason Wolle (5th), Ryan Wachendorfer (8th), Chase Blackwell (9th) and Toby Miller (11th). Swiss Fans will be happy to cheer for their four locals Jan Scherrer (4th), Pat Burgener (6th), Olympic Gold Medalist Iouri Podladtchikov (10th) and Dave Hablützel, who just made the cut finishing 12th today. Worth mentioning is also Andre Hoeflich from Germany, who placed 7th and wowed people with his 2nd run.
Tomorrow the Slopestyle finals will go down with a field of heavy hitters. Spectacular riding is guaranteed.