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World Cup tour returns to China

(lifePR) (Oberhofen / Thunersee, ) More than six and a half years after the first ever stop of the Halfpipe World Cup in China, the circuit finally returns to the world's most populated country which has produced one of the strongest rosters over the past couple of years.

From December 19 to 21, 2017, the ski resort of Secret Garden will celebrate its debut as a World Cup host organising this season's third halfpipe event and therefore the third of five competitions taking place until the official international qualifier period ends on January 21, 2018.

Quite a couple of teams have descended on China with riders ready to go not only for World Cup points but also for a national team spot for PyeongChang 2018.

However, the field features the biggest stack of Chinese talent a World Cup has seen by now with multi-time World Champion Xuetong Cai and Yiwei Zhang leading the squad which also includes Copper Mountain sixth rank finisher Jiayu Liu who came out successful in her home soil competition back in February, 2011.

The Japanese team is also strong with Sena Tomita, who finished fourth in her last week's third ever World Cup participation as well as Hikaru Oe and Kurumi Imai also strapping in.

Over in the men's event, Switzerland's Patrick Burgener is willing to blot out his disappointing Copper Mountain result trying to get back in the Cardrona rhythm where he placed third in the season's opener back in September in order to keeping his dream of bringing home the World Cup trophy alive.

His main rivals for a top podium finish are – besides local favourite Zhang – Finnish rippers Peetu Piiroinen and Janne Korpi as well as Japanese shredders Raibu Katayma, Naita Ando and 2014 Olympic Bronze and Silver medallists Taku Hiraoka and Ayumu Hirano.

Hirano comes to Secret Garden with a lot of self-confidence having won the Copper Mountain event and therefore being the current World Cup leader.

And as if the roster from the land of the rising sun wouldn't be strong enough also one up-and-coming talent will drop in:

Yuto Totsuka, a 16-year-old from Kanagawa, is not only the reigning national champion but also celebrated a perfect World Cup debut winning the season's opener in New Zealand three months ago.

Qualifiers will take place on Tuesday, December 19, at 11:55 LOC (4:55 CET).

Live scoring ladies
Live scoring list men

Finals are slated to take place on Thursday, December 21, at 12:00 LOC (5:00 CET).  

Time schedule

The latest programme can be found here.

Live scoring will be available here.

Results will be available here.