Aaron Blunck and Devin Logan both scored their first world championship medals with ski halfpipe gold and bronze, respectively, Saturday evening at the 2017 FIS Freestyle & Snowboard World Championships, boosting Team USA’s medal haul thus far to 11.
Blunck, the gold medalist at January’s X Games Aspen, continued his winning ways by posting a 91.80 as the second skier in the first run and maintaining that lead the rest of the night. Canada’s Mike Riddle came the closest to challenging Blunck, scoring 89.60 on his second run, but it wasn’t enough. Kevin Rolland of France, who successfully defended his world cup crystal globe this season, was third at 88.40.
Reigning Olympic champion David Wise finished fourth with an 87.00 in his final run, while Birk Irving, the halfpipe gold medalist at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, was fifth with 86.80. Gus Kenworthy was unable make it down the course on any of his three runs and placed 10th.
Showing the confidence of a veteran who already has won an Olympic medal, the slopestyle silver in Sochi three years ago, Logan went past teammate Annalisa Drew on her final run, posting an 84.20 that surpassed Drew’s first-run score of 81.80.
Logan is on track to contend for a halfpipe medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games with her world bronze and a second-place finish at the Olympic test event last month.
Ayana Onozuka of Japan took the women’s halfpipe world title with a second run score of 89.80 to surpass world cup champion Marie Martinod of France, who claimed the silver with an 87.00.
Drew, a 2014 Olympian, who finished third in the world cup standings this season, ended up fourth, while 2014 Olympic halfpipe champion Maddie Bowman placed fifth, mustering a 76.70 on her final run.
The world championships conclude Sunday with ski slopestyle.