Euro­pean win spe­cial for Wanaka skier

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Wanaka freeskier Jossi Wells has over­come ma­jor in­jury to win the Euro­pean Freeski Open slopestyle in Laax, Switzer­land, at the week­end, against some of the world’s best freeskiers. ‘‘To­day was pretty per­sonal for me,’’ Wells said. ‘‘The Euro­pean Open was the first ma­jor in­ter­na­tional event I ever won, back in 2007. It’s been pretty tough com­ing back from in­jury this sea­son so to come back here and be back on my game and win, that’s pretty spe­cial.’’

Wells, a mem­ber of the Cardrona New Zealand Park and Pipe team, broke his neck in a train­ing ac­ci­dent in Septem­ber.

He re­turned to com­pe­ti­tion with the X Games in Jan­uary and has spent the north­ern hemi­sphere sea­son get­ting back to top form. Olympic gold medal­list Joss Christiensen, the world No 2, McRae Wil­liams, both of the United States, and last year’s EFO cham­pion Jes­per Tjder, of Swe­den, were among the top rid­ers Wells beat in the fi­nals.

How­ever, it was Noah Wal­lace, of the United States, who placed sec­ond and Oys­tein Braten, of Nor­way, took third place.

It proved to be a good day at the of­fice for Team Wells with Beau-James qual­i­fy­ing in third place and Jack­son in fourth, both pro­gress­ing through to the semis to join Jossi.

Beau-James fin­ished in sev­enth place while a hand down on the snow in an oth­er­wise im­pres­sive run saw Jack­son fin­ish 17th.

Top spot: Wanaka’s Jossi Wells atop the podium af­ter win­ning the Euro­pean Open in Switzer­land with sec­ond place Noah Wal­lace, of the United States, and Oys­tein Braten, of Nor­way, third.

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