First FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championship medals awarded
With the first week of the championships already in the books, medals in ladies’ and men’s Freeski and Snowboard big air and in ladies’ and men’s ski and snowboard cross have been awarded in Cardrona to date. Due to poor visibility, the Snowboard Cross team event at Cardrona Alpine Resort had to be cancelled and unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity to reschedule the competition.
On the Freeski side, Anastasia Tatalina (RUS) was crowned Junior ladies’ champion with Mac Forehand (USA) Junior claiming the men’s big air title. Silver and bronze medals for the ladies went to Kelly Sildaru (EST), who was coming back from a year out due to injury, and Lana Prusakova (RUS). In the men’s event, Ryan Stevenson (USA) and Thibault Magnin (SPA) took second and third places.
High winds at Cardrona Mountain Resort did not make it easy for the Snowboarders but when the first competition of the 2018 FIS Junior Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships finally went down at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, it did not disappoint, as a heavy-hitting men’s big air competition opened the festivities in hugely entertaining fashion on Sunday, with Takeru Otsuka (JPN) claiming the gold medal. The silver went to Luke Winkelmann (USA) and third place and bronze medal to 16-year-old William Buffey (CAN).
The same wind conditions had also forced the postponement of Saturday’s ladies 2018 FIS Junior big air World Championships competition first to Sunday, and then again to Wednesday, as officials and Organisers fought to reschedule the event within the confines of a packed Audi quattro Winter Games NZ programme. When fog rolled in mid-morning on Wednesday, it appeared that fears of a full cancellation of the competition were to be realised.
Just before officials would be forced to make that final call, like magic, the fog cleared and the ladies’ big air competition went off under good conditions at Cardrona Alpine Resort, with Kokomo Murase (JPN) putting on a dominant performance on her way to winning gold. Sommer Gendron (CAN) came away with the silver medal and the bronze medal went to Ren Ziyan (CHN), giving her nation its first medal of the FIS Junior Snowboard World Championships 2018.
Ski and snowboard cross
Action moved to the race course on Monday with competitors going head to head in the ski and snowboard cross.
The ladies' snowboard cross competition saw the most experienced rider in the field and one of the most successful JWC athletes of all time asserting her dominance one last time at the Junior level, as Kristina Paul (RUS) took home her third-straight junior worlds title. Livia Molodyh (USA) and Sophie Hediger (SUI) took silver and bronze. Over in the men's side it was Jake Vedder (USA) who would take the gold medal, followed by Eliot Grondin (CAN), as two of the competition favourites went 1-2 in from the 1/8 final right through to an action packed big final. Mike Lacroix (USA) took bronze.
In ski cross, Mikayla Martin (CAN) crossed the line in first place in the ladies ski final. Mazie Hayden (USA) finished second and Elliane Hall (GBR) third. On the men’s side the title went to Oliver Davies (GBR), Sandro Siebenhofer (AUT) took silver and Maxim Vikhrov (RUS) bronze.