Chloe Kim Stomps 1080 Tail Grab to Win Snowboard Superpipe Olympic Qualifier

Despite a heavy slam in her second run, Kelly Clark put down a 1080 of her own to make for an American sweep

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Women's superpipe wrapped up day one of snowboard finals at Dew Tour Breckenridge, and it was an impressive show as the sun set. Coming out of Thursday's qualifier, Friday's final consisted of eight women taking a total of three runs each, but it was only their best score in the end that determined where they finished.

Chloe Kim displayed style and grace that was unrivaled by competitors in the superpipe. Photo: Yoshida

Following the bright sunshine earlier that was bestowed upon the men, the women rode the dark side of the pipe event as the towering walls eclipsed the transitions and flat. Still, the final received better visibility than the qualifiers, and certainly consisted of a much faster ride. Hannah Teter was the first to drop as the eight place qualifier, but fell on her final hit. Then Airelle Gold stuck a clean top-to-bottom run, and it was clear that the event was to be impressive to say the least.

Gold's first run held strong as her best for the night scoring an 87, and it certainly set the bar as for what was to be expected from the rest of there field. Gold's first run consisted of a frontside 900 grabbing Canadian bacon (front hand between the legs grabbing the heel edge), Michalchuk, frontside 720 grabbing indy, a cab 720, and a crippler that lead into a final backside air.

At the end of the first runs, Chloe Kim lead the pack with what was already a major step up from her qualifying run. Kim came in firing as the top qualifier making her the last rider to drop in, and her run included tricks that immediately took over the leaderboard and forced the rest of the competition to rethink their approach. Kim's first, and best, run included a lofty backside air, frontside 1080 grabbing tail, cab 720 grabbing mute, frontside 540 grabbing melon and an inverted 540 indy to cap it off.

Kim's 1080 made it clear that if anyone was going to step to her they would need to bring something serious. Her first run score earned a 93, and remained the highest score of the entire event.

"I go into every contest with certain runs planned. Qualification runs with every trick planned out and I'm not really thinking about what others are doing," explained Kim.

Later she went on to mention with regard to her ability to land back-to-back 1080s that she was not sure that it is necessary for her to land in order to win any given event. Still, she nearly pulled them off in her remaining two run that acted essentially as victory or practice laps.

Arielle Gold housed power combos from top to bottom in the superpipe marking her first run with a high score of 87.00. Photo: Kanights

 

The third place qualifier, and next rider most well-known for landing 1080s regularly, Kelly Clark found herself working to complete a run that would rank along Kim's. During Clark's second run she sent a very large 1080 but wound up coming down incredibly hard on the deck smashing her ribs as well as receiving a bloody nose. It was not enough to stop her from trying again.

More important than placing second in superpipe finals, Kelly Clark exhibited true grit after taking a violent slam on the deck and still deciding to take her third run. Photo: Yoshida

"What do we do when we fall off the horse? We get back on!" stated Clark. "As soon as the doctors cleared me that I did not have any sort of concussion symptoms, I looked at my coach. The first thing he said to me was, 'are you going to step on the gas?' I said, 'absolutely.'"

Clark held nothing back and redeemed herself with what was the largest, most solid 1080 grabbing indy seen in recent years since her hip surgery in April of 2016.

Clark's third run earned her second place with a score of 90. Her run combined a frontside air grabbing mute, backside 540 grabbing mute, frontside 1080 grabbing indy, cab 720 grabbing mute, crippler and a backside air to wrap.

Women’s Snowboard Superpipe Final Results

1.) Chloe Kim (USA), 93.00
2.) Kelly Clark (USA), 90.00
3.) Arielle Gold (USA), 87.00
4.) Maddie Mastro (USA), 84.33
5.) Hannah Teter (USA), 80.00
6.) Mirabelle Thovex (FRA), 74.00
7.) Queralt Castellet (SPA), 72.00
8.) Elena Hight (USA), 59.66