Maddie Bowman wins gold for U.S. in women’s ski halfpipe

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Two-time reigning X Games champion Maddie Bowman has now become the first Olympic champion in women’s ski halfpipe, completing an American sweep in the discipline’s debut after David Wise won the men’s gold two days ago.

Bowman led after the first run (an 85.40) and then extended her advantage with a second run that featured a pair of 900s and netted her a new top score of 89.00.

France’s Marie Martinod, who returned to competition in the 2011-12 season after a five-year hiatus that saw her start a family, was the last person to get a chance to top Bowman and stomped a solid second run.

But while it earned her a new best score of 85.40, it only was enough for the silver. Japan’s Ayana Onozuka won the bronze after an improved second run that got an 83.20.

Bowman had gone into Sochi with lots of momentum beyond her second straight X Games title. She won three of the first four Olympic qualifier events this winter and hit the podium in all of those four.

This marks the second American sweep of a new Olympic discipline in Sochi after the inaugural snowboard slopestyle golds were captured by Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson.

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FREESTYLE SKIING – WOMEN’S SKI HALFPIPE FINAL
Best score of two runs

1. Maddie Bowman (USA), 89.00
2. Marie Martinod (FRA), 85.40
3. Ayana Onozuka (JPN), 83.20
4. Virginie Faivre (SUI), 78.00
5. Janina Kuzma (NZL), 77.00
6. Brita Sigourney (USA), 76.00
7. Rosalind Groenewoud (CAN), 74.20
8. Mirjam Jaeger (SUI), 71.20
9. Annalisa Drew (USA), 66.40
10. Amy Sheehan (AUS), 40.60
11. Angeli VanLaanen (USA), 29.60
12. Anais Caradeux (FRA), DNS