FIS Junior World Championship titles were awarded in Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle on day eight of competition at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort. Japan dominated the Snowboard competition with gold medals won by top qualifiers Takeru Otsuka and Kokomo Murase. Freeski gold medals were won by Sweden’s Oliwer Magnusson and Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru.

The women’s freeski podium came down to a tussle between trick execution and ground-breaking trick progression. Kelly Sildaru laid down three outstanding runs with near perfect execution, all scored in the 90s, but it was her first run of the day and score of 95.2 that won her the JWC title.

Kelly Sildaru. Photo by Jason Kerr / Winter Games NZ

“I’m so happy. It’s been really hard coming back from injury. I’m so happy I’m able to ski and compete again.”

Russia’s Anastasia Tatalina saved her best for last, scoring a 90.00 on run three for second place after landing the first ever double cork 1260 mute grab in women’s freeski competition. The judges rewarded her for progression but it did not top Sildaru’s trick execution. Japan’s Kokone Kondo landed the bronze.

Anastasia Tatalina (2nd), Kelly Sildaru (1st), Kokone Kondo (3rd). Photo by Neil Kerr / Winter Games NZ

The judges had their work cut out for them deciding the men’s freeski podium with the top three competitors laying down world cup standard runs. The scores were close but Magnusson was the standout, showing a variety of well-held grabs, a unique line through the rail features utilising the lollipop feature, and a perfectly executed left double 1440 tail on the final hit. Sebastian Schjerve was second and Kim Gubser third.

Oliwer Magnusson. Photo by Jason Kerr / Winter Games NZ

Magnusson explains how the competition played out for him: “The first run I had bad speed and landed short and didn’t do the trick I wanted, the second run I landed everything but not as clean I wanted and then I cleaned it up on the third run so I’m feeling really great.”

Sebastian Schjerve (2nd), Oliwer Magnusson (1st), Kim Gubser (3rd). Photo by Neil Kerr / Winter Games NZ

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