Liu became the first Chinese athlete ever to win an Olympic snowboard medal with her silver-medal performance at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and following her history-making performance in Korea she sat out the 2018/19 competition season.
Now back in the competition fold, Liu has shown no rust so far in 2019/20, earning a runner-up last week in Copper Mountain (USA), before her starring turn in Secret Garden on Sunday in which she earned a score of 90.80 for her standout second run.
“I’m feeling pretty stoked,” Liu said after awards, “First because it’s awesome for me to win in China. I’m Chinese, and Secret Garden is kind of my home resort, and this competition is in the Olympic pipe. For me to win in China, I’m super happy. The pipe here is really good, and the wind is pretty steady so it doesn’t really matter too much.”
With the win, Liu would take the World Cup leader’s bib from Queralt Castellet (ESP), who failed to advance to finals in Secret Garden this weekend.
Second place went to last season’s halfpipe crystal globe winner Cai Xuetong, who got over the struggles she seemed to experience early in the day to put down a storming final run that very nearly upset her compatriot Liu, finishing with a score of 89.20 and her first podium of the season.
In the third place was the rider who very nearly made herself the talk of the snowboard world once again on Sunday, as Maddie Mastro stomped her final run of the day for a score of 86.60.
Mastro became the first woman ever to land a double invert in competition when she stomped a double crippler at the US Open last season, and in her first two runs on Sunday she was looking to become the first to land the trick in World Cup competition. However, after two unsuccessful attempts, she scaled back her final run to a single crippler and walked away with her second-straight third-place finish of the season
TRICK LIST - WOMEN:
Liu - switch backside air, Haakonflip 720 mute, frontside 540 stalefish, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 stalefish
Cai - fronstside 540 melon, backside 540 mute, air-to-fakie melon, cab 720 stalefish, frontside 900 mute, backside air
Mastro - backside air, frontside 540 stalefish, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 frontside grab, Haakonflip 720 stalefish, crippler