Coming into Saturday night’s event, Chinese compatriots Cai Xuetong and Liu Jiayu were deadlocked atop the halfpipe leaderboard with 3000 points apiece after four events, with only the season’s final competition in Canada left to decide the season outcome. 

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Cai Xuatong came out gunning in her first run, stomping a method, frontside 900 Indy, backside 540 mute, air to fakie, and a cab 720 for a score of 87.25. That run would stand the test after the likes of Maddie Mastro failed to cleanly stomp her signature double crippler in her second run, and Liu Jiayu came up short with a gutsy effort of a third run after crashing heavily in her second attempt. 

The win would give Cai Xuetong her sixth halfpipe crystal globe in 10 seasons of World Cup competition - a truly remarkable rate of success that shows no signs of slowing down as the 26-year-old continues to progress and adapt her runs each season. 

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“I’m super happy, super stoked to have my sixth globe tonight,” Cai Xuetong said with her trophy in hand, “I wanted to step it up in my second and third runs and I couldn’t, but I’m happy that my first run was good enough. This crystal globe is special to me. In China right now there’s the coronavirus, and it’s scary for my country. We can’t go home to China right now, but this globe is for China.”

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Second place on the day went to the hugely impressive 15-year-old Mitsuki Ono of Japan, who claimed her first career World Cup podium in her fourth World Cup competition with a score of 84.25, just a few weeks after winning gold at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games.

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And third place on the evening belonged to Liu Jaiyu, who could barely walk to the podium following the competition, making her third run high score of 82.75 even more impressive as it came after her extremely heavy slam onto the Calgary pipe’s deck in run two. 

Liu would have to settle for second on the 2019/20 final standings behind Cai Xuetong, while Spain’s Queralt Castellet would round out the season podium in third overall.

© FIS

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