Canada's Brendan Mackay wins men's halfpipe skiing world title
Brendan Mackay will bring home a gold medal from the freestyle skiing world championships, after the Calgary native was crowned world champion in the men's halfpipe final on Saturday in Bakuriani, Georgia.
Mackay scored a 97.25 in the final, topping the 95.75 of silver-medallist Jon Sallinen of Finland to become the first Canadian to win the halfpipe world title since Mike Riddle in 2011.
The 25-year-old Mackay emerged as the winner after many changes in the top three during the final run. He stepped up to the challenge of reclaiming first place after Sallinen's impressive third run.
Alex Ferreira of the United States rounded out the podium, taking bronze with a score of 93.00.
WATCH | Mackay claims halfpipe world title:
"The second Jon [Sallinen] put down his [third] run I was pretty sure they were going to put him above me. That run is crazy," said Mackay. "I was pretty sure I needed something big the second he landed and when I saw his score come in it was like, 'Alright, let's go, it's on.' I had to try to compete with it and I'm happy I did."
Mackay surely delivered, opening his run with a switch left alley-oop double cork 900 critical and wrapping it with a right double 1260 safety. He also stomped a left double 1620 safety for the first time in a competition.
"Last world champs I qualified in first and couldn't put it down," he said. "Doing the same here [qualifying in first] I was really hoping I could just put some runs down, and putting down the first run felt great, but I was pretty damn sure I was going to need more because everyone is skiing so well."
Simon d'Artois of Whistler, B.C. finished just out of the medals, scoring 92.00 for a fourth-place finish. Andrew Longino and Dylan Marineau, both of Calgary, did not qualify for the final.
In the women's freestyle halfpipe final, Rachael Karker, of Erin, Ont. won a bronze medal.
WATCH | Karker skis to halfpipe bronze:
Karker put up a score of 92.25, behind gold medallist Hanna Faulhaber of the United States (95.75) and Great Britain's Zoe Akin (94.50).
Calgary's Amy Fraser and Dillan Glennie, of Courtenay, B.C., both advanced to the final, finishing fifth and eighth, respectively.
Big air bronze for Oldham
Megan Oldham added a second medal to her haul at the world championships on Saturday, taking bronze in the women's big air final.
"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," Oldham said.
"The snow conditions made landing difficult, but I managed to get onto the podium. I couldn't be happier."
WATCH | Oldham captures big air bronze:
The Parry Sound, Ont. native, who won slopestyle silver earlier in the week, scored 174.00 in the big air final. That was just behind Norway's Sandra Eie (175.00), who snagged silver.
French skier Tess Ledeux (186.75) took gold in the event.