China’s Eileen Gu completes perfect World Cup freestyle skiing season

China’s Eileen Gu capped the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup season with a perfect record in women’s halfpipe after a triumph at Mammoth Mountain in California on Saturday to capture the first crystal globe of her career.

The 18-year-old reigning world champion, who was born in the United States but will represent China at next month’s Beijing Olympics where she is tipped to win gold, delivered a pair of solid runs and finished with a best of 97.50.

Gu’s win saw her become the first skier in freestyle World Cup history to win four consecutive World Cup competitions.

“I’m absolutely blown away,” Gu said. “97.50 … that’s the highest score I’ve ever gotten.”

“I’m so happy to put a run down today, I think that’s probably one of the best runs I’ve ever done in the halfpipe.

“And to finish the World Cup season with another win and get my first crystal globe, it’s just incredible.”

Former halfpipe world champion Kelly Sildaru (92.50) of Estonia finished second while American Brita Sigourney (87.75) took the bronze medal.

Gu will head to the Feb. 4-20 Beijing Olympics full of confidence as she is a perfect four-for-four in halfpipe World Cup action this season.

In the men’s competition, New Zealand’s Nico Porteous scored 97.00 to beat the American pair of David Wise (95.25) and Aaron Blunck (93.75) to the top spot.

“I’ve had a bit of a tough season so far,” Porteous said. “I haven’t really been skiing the way I wanted to.

“But yeah, to put that run down today is a nice icing on the cake to the World Cup season.”

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