Elias Ambühl takes home gold at Freestyle.ch
ELIAS AMBÜHL KICK-STARTED HIS SEASON IN SUPERB FASHION IN FRONT OF AN ECSTATIC HOME CROWD BY TAKING HIS FIRST GOLD MEDAL AT
FREESTYLE.CH IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND.
For the freeskiing world, Freestyle.ch marks the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season, and attracts the biggest names in the sport. The crowds that gather on the shores of Lake Zurich are privileged to witness everything that the top athletes have been learning over the long summer, and judging by the display last weekend they have been working hard.
Watch the highlights of the semi-final here:
After a superb qualifier on Saturday, everyone was filled with anticipation by the prospect of the semifinals early on Sunday afternoon. Riders were given 45 minutes to impress the judges, and had to perform one style trick and one technical trick. The athletes seemed to hit their form at the right moment, and Andreas Håtveit immediately threw down the gauntlet with his new ‘funky flip’, a switch 180° to barrel role. By following this with a double cork 1080° mute to octo grab his place in the final was all but secure. Jossi Wells was flawless and stomped his switch double flatspin 1080° and zero spin to ensure his place in the final four. Elias Ambühl meanwhile left himself with a little work to do by crashing his first attempts at a double cork 1440°, but eventually he got the trick nailed, and with his switch 540° japan-nose grab made the cut, along with fellow Swiss, Kai Mahler.
With two runs only, Elias Ambühl started the final with a great double cork 1440° high mute. The other riders felt the pressure and all had difficulties. On the second round it was a different story with Elias crashing an attempted double cork 1620°, leaving himself a nervous wait for the other results. Jossi Wells put down his switch double flatspin 1080° and Andreas landed his double cork 1080°, but Swiss rider Kai Mahler used his home advantage and landed his switch double misty 1260°. After what seemed a lifetime the judges announced the result. It was an ecstatic Elias Ambühl at the top of the podium followed by Kai Mahler, then Jossi Wells, and Andreas Håtveit in fourth.
RESULTS FREESTYLE.CH FREESKI BIG AIR
1. Elias Ambühl (SUI)
2. Kai Mahler (SUI)
3. Jossi Wells (NZL)
4. Andreas Håtveit (NOR)
5. Gus Kenworthy (USA)
6. Markus Eder (ITA)
7. Tom Wallisch (USA)
8. Alex Schlopy (USA)
ABOUT: ELIAS AMBÜHL
According to his genes, the just 19-year-old Elias Ambühl should rather carve through gates than jump off kickers, since his father used to ski in the Alpine World Cup for the Swiss National Team. Thus it came as no surprise that Elias started his skiing career in racing. However, when his older brother Andri switched to freeskiing, Elias voted for freedom on two planks as well. And it was a good decision, as the young boy from Masein, a small village close to Chur in Grisons, soon started to collect respectable results. Among others he has won such important events as the Austrian Freeski Open, the Jon Olsson Invitational or the Red Bull Playstreets and hosted his own competition, the Ambühl Invitational together with his brother. In addition, he finished the last season on top of the big air world ranking of the AFP, arguably the biggest success of his career so far. Elias ambitiously strives for his goals and thus he has quite a lot of contests on his schedule for this season again.