Skiing: Kiwi freeskier Luca Harrington claims maiden World Cup medal in Switzerland

: Luca Harrington practices a Slopestyle run.
: Luca Harrington practices a Slopestyle run. Photo credit: Getty Images

Story by RNZ.

Wānaka freeskier Luca Harrington has claimed the first World Cup podium of his career, with a third-place finish at the FIS Slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland. 

After numerous delays due to gusty winds, 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 a strong second qualification run, the top-scoring run in his heat.

It 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 Andri Ragettli took the win on home snow, with Lukas Muellauer of Austria in second place.

Harrington, 20, was thrilled with the result.

"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."

Harrington finished fourth at the same event 12 months ago.

"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."

Fellow Kiwis Ruby Star Andrews, 19, and Ben Barclay, 22, were both set to compete in their respective finals on Monday having qualified through earlier in the week. With the cancellation of Monday's finals, Andrews finished in fourth place in the women's competition and Barclay finished in 11th in the men's.

The event marks the end of the FIS Freeski World Cup circuit for the 2024 season.