WINTER GAMES NZ JUNIOR BIG AIR
The first titles of the FIS Junior Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships 2018 were awarded today at Cardrona Alpine Resort. Japan’s Takeru Otsuka was crowned Junior Men’s Snowboard Big Air champion, Mac Forehand (USA) Junior Men’s Freeski Big Air Champion and Anastasia Tatalina (RUS) Junior Ladies’ Freeski Big Air Champion. The Ladies’ Snowboard Big Air championships have been postponed until later next week due to high winds over the past two days.
In women’s ski, podium places were decided by each athlete’s top scoring run of three. Russian athlete Anastasia Tatalina went big with a switch bio nine front corking rotation that is unique amongst female competitors, landing her in the top spot ahead of Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru.
“I’m so excited,” said Tatalina. “It’s my first time I’ve won in a big competition.”
Sildaru had huge amplitude on her switch nine mute grab and said she was happy to be back on the podium after a year off with injury.
“It’s my first competition for a year, after my injury, so I’m happy.”
Lana Prusakova (RUS) also pushed hard for the championship title, looking to challenge her countrywoman with a left cork nine tail grab, again getting off the vertical axis and showing progression in women’s skiing, but without big amplitude or a long-held grab, it would mean a third place finish.
“I was hoping to win. But I hurt my knee and I didn’t feel so good to jump today, but I am happy to be third.”
Kelly Sildaru (2nd), Anastasia Tatalina (1st), Lana Prusakova (3rd).
Huge amplitude, progressive tricks and stomped deep landings were what won Mac Forehand (USA) the Junior Men’s Freeski Big Air Championship title, with a switch left triple 1620 and left double 1440 tail grab.
“I’m feeling amazing, I’m so happy to win. On the second run I did a trick (switch triple cork 1620) I’ve only landed once before so I was so happy to land that.”
Ryan Stevenson (USA) finished second with a switch double cork 1440, blunt grab on run two and triple cork 1440 safety on run three, the judges rewarding him for super clean execution, long grabs and big amplitude.
“I’m very, very stoked. First run I didn’t do the trick I wanted so I got a little stress out. I was stoked to land my second two runs. I’m so hyped to lace them up.”
Rounding out the podium in third was Spain’s Thibault Magnin with a switch left triple 12 on run one, and a flawless left triple cork 1620 on his final hit.
“I couldn’t be happier about that,” said Magnin.
Thibault Magnin (2nd), Mac Forehand (1st), Thibault Magnin (3rd).
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