Holly Crawford has collected the second World Cup halfpipe victory of her career, taking gold in Valmalenco, Italy.
Competing in her first event since placing eighth at the Vancouver 2010 Games, the 25-year-old AIS scholarship holder qualified in second position then produced a 40.4 point opening ride in the final to easily defeat Switzerland’s Ursina Haller on 37.5 points and Canadian Mercedes Nicoll on 37.1, both women, like the Australian, 2010 Olympic finalists.
Crawford’s previous victory had come in Furano, Japan, in February 2007. PGS rider Joh Shaw was also in action in Valmalenco, just missing a place in the finals when she finished in 17th place in qualifying at the penultimate event of the season. Crawford, Shaw and Valmalenco snowboard cross gold medallist Alex Pullin now travel to La Molina for the World Cup finals at the end of this week.
Vancouver halfpipe gold medallist Torah Bright has also been competing in Europe following the Games, finishing second behind US rider Kaitlyn Farrington in the Europe XGames.
Source: Olympic Winter institute of Australia.