Yuki Tsubota wins World Cup slopestyle gold
Evan McEachran top Canadian male in 9th
Canadian freestyle skier Yuki Tsubota won her first World Cup medal Sunday, skipping over silver and bronze for gold.
The 21-year-old Olympian scored 84.40 in the slopestyle in Mammoth, Calif., well ahead of Giulia Tanno of Switzerland and Emma Dahlstrom of Sweden, who scored 77.40 and 76.20, respectively, for silver and bronze.
"It was a very long day but I couldn't have hoped for a better ending," said Tsubota in a press release. "There were wind issues out here today so I went for a run that I knew I could nail. I have been working on new tricks on the rails for some time to increase my level of difficulty. In the end, that paid off."
Tsubota, who finished sixth in the 2014 Games after crashing and suffering a concussion, led the Canadian contingent Sunday which saw three finish in the top seven. Nikki Blackall and Kim Lamarre finished sixth and seventh.
The win vaults the Whistler, B.C., native from ninth to second in the season's overall slopestyle rankings at the halfway mark. Norway's Tiril Sjastad Christiansen sits atop the rankings with 145 points to Tsubota's 129.
Evan McEachran was Canada's top male performer, finishing ninth with 78.00. Reigning Olympic champion Joss Christensen of the United States won gold with 89.00 and his teammate Mcrae Williams took silver. Oystein Braten of Norway rounded out the podium.
McEachran is currently ranked 10th in the overall standings, the top Canadian.
Rough weather deterred riders
"The weather conditions were really bad and all the training sessions had to be cancelled because of the wind," said Jean-François Cusson, the team's technical coach. "Some athletes even chose not to compete for that reason so we had to go for safe and very strategic runs to get the girls qualified for finals."
The freestyle World Cup circuit continues Wednesday in Park City, Utah.
With files from The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association