Career first World Cup podium for Wānaka Freeskier Luca Harrington

Snow Sports NZ athlete Luca Harrington (Wānaka, 20) has claimed the first World Cup podium of his career overnight in Switzerland, with a third-place finish at the Silvaplana FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup.

An ecstatic Harrington explained; “To get my first World Cup podium means the world to me, it feels amazing. It has been a goal of mine since I was a little kid and it was one of my biggest goals of this season, so I am absolutely over the moon!”  

After numerous delays due to gusty winds on Sunday morning (CET), the decision was made to cancel the World Cup finals, meaning the results from qualification earlier in the week stood as the final results. 

Harrington put down an incredible second qualification run, which was the top scoring run in his heat. His run included impressive tricks on the jumps and a clean and technical rail section. Harrington laced together a double cork 1440 safety grab into a right double cork 1620 tail grab into a switch right double 1440 on the jumps, before impressing the judges with a huge switch 720 on the quarter pipe.

Switzerland’s very own Andri Ragettli took the win on home snow, with Lukas Muellauer of Austria completing the podium in second place.

This moment is even sweeter for Harrington due to the fact that at this very event 12 months ago he was tantalisingly close to the podium with a strong fourth place finish. 

Harrington said, “I have been waiting for my time to come and today was the right day, the right moment and I am so grateful. I am comfortable on this course and had such a great time last time so I was feeling really good coming into this competition.”

Snow Sports NZ coach Hamish McDougall gave some insight into what it has taken to get here today. 

“The amount of work can only be described as complete dedication. We’ve made lots of sacrifices to get here today and the work won’t stop. We’ll certainly celebrate this incredible result but we are more motivated than ever to keep showing up.”

Ruby Star Andrews (Queenstown, 19) and Ben Barclay (Auckland, 22) were both set to compete in their respective finals today having qualified through earlier in the week. With the cancellation of today's finals, Andrews finished in fourth place in the women's competition and Barclay finished in eleventh in the men's competition. 

McDougall said, “I’m so proud of all three of the athletes I lead [Harrington, Andrews and Barclay] for their efforts this season and I am especially proud of how persistent Luca was in getting to the podium today.”

 

This marks the end of the FIS Freeski World Cup circuit for the 2024 season. The athletes now look forward to getting some quality spring training under their skis over the next couple of months.

Career first World Cup podium for Wānaka Freeskier Luca Harrington

25 days ago