Brendan Mackay World Champion at Bakuriani!
Vancouver, March 4, 2023 – Brendan Mackay will depart Bakuriani, Georgia, wearing a big smile and a new title: Halfpipe World Champion!
“It’s incredible!” declared the new champion at the end of an eventful day, where his last-minute victory earned him the crown.
The skier from Calgary, Alberta, who was second in the provisional standings heading into his final run, left everything he had in the pipe on his last descent, putting on quite a show in the process. He successfully completed all of his tricks, including a 1620. His performance was reflected in the judges’ score of 97.25, which moved the Canadian into the top position, ahead of Jon Sallinen of Finland (95.75) and Alex Ferreira of the USA (93.00).
“Once I saw Jon go, I knew I had to do better if I wanted to win. His run was sensational! So I gathered my focus and went for it. It went really well, and I’m very happy with how I skied,” said Mackay, who capped off a stellar season with a second place overall World Cup finish, in addition to today’s World Championship medal, the first of his career.
“At the last Worlds, I was first after the qualifiers, but I wasn’t able to hold onto that lead in the final. This time, I wanted to go all the way, and I knew my run would have to be exceptional. I’m proud of my performance!”
In the same final, Simon d’Artois (Whistler, BC) fell just short of the podium. Although he earned 92.00 points on his first run, he was unable to improve his score in his two subsequent descents. He finished just one point behind Ferrerira and the bronze medal.
Andrew Longino and Dylan Marineau did not advance past the qualification rounds earlier in the week. The two Calgarians finished 12th and 15th, respectively.
Bronze for Karker and Oldham
On the women’s side, Rachael Karker also wrapped up her season with a new medal, in her case, a bronze. The 2021 runner-up world champion, who hails from Erin, Ontario, earned 92.25 points on her opening halfpipe run, putting her in provisional second place. In her subsequent descents, Karker, who won this year’s Crystal Globe in the discipline, attempted to improve her score, but was held back by a series of crashes.
Hanna Faulhaber of the USA won the event with 95.75 points on her third and final run. Zoe Atkin of Great Britain rounded out the podium, with 94.50.
In the same final, Amy Fraser (Calgary, AB) and Dillan Glennie (Courtenay, BC) finished fifth and eighth, respectively, with scores of 86.00 et 70.00.
A little later on Saturday, Ontario’s Megan Oldham won her second medal of the World Championships in the Big Air contest, the final event of the competition.
Her cumulative score of 174.00 for her two best runs landed her in third place, behind Tess Ledeux of France (186.75) and Sandra Eie of Norway (175.00).
“It’s been an incredible week! I didn’t expect to perform so well, and I’m super happy to have won another medal, especially since it happened on my third jump. The snow conditions made landing difficult, but I managed to get onto the podium. I couldn’t be happier,” said Oldham as she left the podium.
The skier from Parry Sound, ON, won silver in slopestyle on Tuesday.
Also in Big Air, her compatriots Noah Porter MacLennan (Ottawa, ON) and Teal Harle (Campbell River, BC) competed in the men’s event, finishing eighth and tenth.
Evan McEachran (Oakville, ON) and Max Moffatt (Caledon, ON) did not advance past the qualification rounds and finished 25th and 33rd in the event, which was dominated by Troy Podmilsak of the USA.
The Canadian delegation to Bakuriani concludes the World Championships with a total of six medals, bringing the country’s total to 107 since the inaugural event in Tignes, France, in 1986.
And while the 19th edition of the World Championships is now over, the action will resume on Sunday with World Cup aerials in Engadin, Switzerland.
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