Australia takes it all: halfpipe Gold for Holly Crawford and Nathan Johnstone
The fourth title decision of the 9th FIS Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain, was dominated by riders from down under today. While Holly Crawford crowned herself queen of the pipe by grabbing Gold, her Aussie team mate Nathan Jonstone ruled the men’s competition also securing his first ever major title.
The ladies podium was rounded out by Swiss Ursina Haller as runner-up and 2009 World Champion Jiayu Liu (CHN). On the men’s side, Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov earned Silver while Markus Malin (FIN) took Bronze.
The halfpipe finals brought some nice freestyle action although tough wind at the pipe’s top and warm weather affected the right wall looking up. However, Australia’s riders tackled the conditions and killed it in an impressive way thus posting a historical result adding Gold #2 and #3 to their home country’s 2011 WCS books.
“I couldn’t imagine this historical result in the pipe,” said Nathan Johnstone after his second run, which the 20 years old kid, who enjoyed his victory lap with fs 1080, cab 7 and back-to-back 5’s until he decided it’s time to end the show.
There was no need for him to throw in more as he had secured Gold with his first run posting 26.8 points, a hurdle to high for the rest of the pack.
Nate had earned the highest score with fs 10 indy, cab 7 lien, fs 9 indy, back 9 lien plus a huge fs air and thus was crowned the worthy World Champion. “I worked hard for this event and am very happy about sticking my tricks and grabbing Gold.”
However, it was a close battle with Podladtchikov, fourth ranked rider of the last Olympics, who had scored 26.2 points in his first run (bs air, front 10 tail, cab 10 double cork mute, front 5 indy, alley oop indy), going all or nothing in run two by stomping an even higher backside air to fs 10 and a cab 10 double cork on which he unfortunately slammed hard.
Malin had jumped on third with the best performance in the final run bringing down a massive fs air, bs 9, fs 1080 double cork, cab 7, fs 7 and a sw bs air to finish things off (24.3).
On the ladies side, some girls threw in 900’s but, Crawford, who was the last WCS runner-up, secured her title in the first run due to the high and smooth execution of her trick series consisting of lien air, bs air, fs 7 mute, cab 7, fs 5 and bs air.
“I felt good in the pipe. I’m very happy. Everything worked out fine so I have nothing to complain”, the 26 years old said.