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Fifteen-year-old Kexin Zhang storms to halfpipe gold

Fifteen-year-old Kexin Zhang storms to halfpipe gold
By Sportsbeat

22/12/2017 at 11:49Updated 22/12/2017 at 15:16

Teenage prodigy Kexin Zhang has won the first race of her career at just 15 years of age after taking halfpipe World Cup glory in Secret Garden.

In front of her home crowd, Kexin not only took the win but shot to the top of the general classification standings, following up her third place from Copper Mountain.

But it is this week that she will remember for a long time, with the Chinese skier registering a total of 88.80 points to take her place atop the podium.

Silver went to Japan's Yurie Watabe with a tally of 86.20, while the 82.20 score from Valeria Demidova was enough for the Russian to take bronze.

Barren runs were also ended in the men's competition as Frenchman Thomas Krief picked up his first podium in more than two years in spectacular style, taking the gold in Secret Garden.

A second place in New Zealand in August 2015 had been the best of his recent history, but Krief pulled it out of the bag when it mattered most to score 90.00 on the hills in the third World Cup of the season.

Joel Gisler of Switzerland took second, just ahead of compatriot Robin Briguet, though it's American Alex Ferreira who leads the general classification.

Meanwhile there were numerous personal bests for the British skiers, with Peter Speight agonisingly close to the podium with a score of 76.40 in fourth place, while Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon finished eighth.

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