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The top-ranked rider after Thursday’s qualification round, Demidova came into Saturday’s finals knowing that her run - with it’s combination of spins all four ways, at least one solid invert, and unorthodox grabs - would be a tough one to beat, and on Saturday she simply stuck to her blueprint by nailing both of first two of three finals runs, scoring a 92.00 on run one and ticking that up a notch with a 92.50 on run two.

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Coming into the final run of the day, both the second and third overall qualifiers Rachael Karker (CAN) and Li Fanghui (CHN), respectively, sat in those same positions, with one final shot to topple Demidova. Unfortunately for each of them, both would falter in their final runs, with the qualification order sticking through finals for the top three and 19-year-old Demidova taking her first career World Cup win. 

“I’m so happy,” a smiling Demidova said after the award ceremony, “The pipe was so good, everybody was riding so good, and I’m one of the happiest kids ever because I’m going home for the holidays with this great news for my parents. Secret Garden is a great resort, even though it can be a bit cold and windy, the pipe is perfect, and it’s been a great week here.”

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With the win, Demidova was able to overtake China’s Zhang Kexin for the halfpipe World Cup lead with three of five 2019/20 competitions completed, with Demidova holding 205 points to Zhang’s 200.

Photo: Buchholz/FIS Freeski

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