Canada’s Mackay uses home hill advantage to take gold medal in men’s ski halfpipe World Cup

Canada’s Brendan Mackay continued his hot streak in his hometown of Calgary winning a second consecutive World Cup gold medal in the men’s ski halfpipe on Saturday.

Mackay, 24, was one of three Canadians to reach the podium between the men’s and women’s competition.

Unlike his performance Thursday, the Calgary native had his best run of the day on his first one, scoring 93.40 and following it up with scores of 74.60 and 93.20 in his final two.

“It’s fantastic. It’s hard to believe I won two consecutive events right here, at home. I felt confident and in control all evening,” Mackay said.

WATCH l Mackay captures gold at FIS Freeski Halfpipe World Cup:

Calgary’s Brendan Mackay takes gold at the FIS Freeski Halfpipe World Cup

9 hours ago

Duration 2:28

Canadian Brendan Mackay won gold at the FIS Freeski Halfpipe World Cup in Calgary, Alberta. 2:28

Despite his fellow competitors being bothered by the gusty winds during the event, MacKay remained unfazed. He also acknowledged that competing at home gave him an advantage.

“The wind made things pretty difficult, but I’m used to riding the halfpipe here in Calgary. I gave it my all on each run,” he said.

Noah Bowman, also from Calgary, finished third with a high score of 88.00, placing just behind silver medallist Alex Ferreira of the U.S. (90.40).

WATCH l Bowman wins bronze in hometown:

Calgary’s Noah Bowman wins bronze at the FIS Freeski Halfpipe World Cup

9 hours ago

Duration 1:07

Canadian Noah Bowman won bronze at the FIS Freeski Halfpipe World Cup in Calgary, Alberta. 1:07

The 29-year-old Bowman scored 84.00 on his first run and 42.00 in his final one, with his top score coming on his second run.

“I’m really happy with my day. The conditions were pretty extreme but I was able to pull it off,” Bowman said. “It was great to be able to get up onto the podium with Brendan, who was excellent.”

Karker adds to medal haul with silver

On the women’s side, Rachael Karker picked up her second medal of the week, this time winning silver in the ski halfpipe.

Karker, of Erin, Ont., who won bronze on Thursday, finished with a high score of 89.40. 

WATCH l Karker claims silver in ski halfpipe:

Canada’s Rachael Karker wins silver at the ski halfpipe World Cup

9 hours ago

Duration 1:09

Rachael Karker of Erin Ont., won silver in the ski halfpipe at the FIS World Cup in Calgary, Alberta. 1:09

Similar to Mackay, her best run was her first one. 

“I feel really great and I’m so happy with my performance. It’s so nice to be back on the podium, especially here in Canada,” Karker said.

“I was lucky enough to get some really high jumps in when there wasn’t much wind. The conditions deteriorated afterwards, so I couldn’t execute my biggest tricks. Still, I’m happy to have improved on my ranking from Thursday.”

The 24-year-old finished just behind China’s Gu Ailing Eileen who won her second straight gold medal with a top score of 92.80.

American Hanna Faulhaber placed third with her best score being 88.60.

Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe, of Comox, B.C., vastly improved on her showing on Thursday finishing fourth, scoring 83.60 on her final run.

Sharpe returned to competition earlier in December for the first time since suffering a pair of knee injuries and a fractured femur following a fall at the Winter X Games in January.

Amy Fraser, of Calgary, finished eighth in the event, scoring 65.20.

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