Kiwi freeskiers through to World Cup final

Freeski halfpipe specialists Beau-James Wells and Nico Porteous have successfully qualified for finals in a high-calibre World Cup field at Copper Mountain in the US.

Just two months out from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, 16-year-old Porteous finished second behind Sochi gold medallist David Wise (US) in qualifying.

His best effort was an impressive 90.60 on his second run, increasing his amplitude as he worked his way down the pipe and finishing with back-to-back double 1260s at the bottom.

"My goal today was to make finals," Porteous said. "I am super happy with the result and the way I skied.

"I would really have liked to put in some of the new tricks I've learnt, but unfortunately I wasn't able to. It's really good to be in this position going into finals."

Wells finished third in heat two, also making the top four cut-off for finals.

It's an encouraging result, given he returned to competition from injury only four months ago and is now tracking well towards qualifying for PyeongChang 2018.

He landed a high scoring run on his first attempt, rewarded for consistent amplitude and good trick variety with an 85.60 tally.

In the women's field, Janina Kuzma, also already selected for PyeongChang, put down a strong first run but needed to up the ante to hold on to her place in the top four and progress to finals.

She came unstuck on her second hit and finished sixth in her heat and 10th overall - just outside the top eight to go through.

The finals are scheduled for Saturday (NZT), but New Zealand athletes will be back in action on Friday when snowboarders Rakai Tait, Freeman Andrews and Dakota Craig take their turn in the halfpipe.

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