Highlights of Sierra Nevada 2017 after 14 of 26 medal decisions

15 March 2017 15:58
Moguls action in Sierra Nevada
Moguls action in Sierra Nevada -
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With twelve medal decisions left, FIS Newsflash takes a look at some of the great action that has already taken place at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Sierra Nevada (ESP).

FREESTYLE SKIING

Horishima first man to take double gold, youngest moguls World Champion

It had been done four times before on the ladies’ side - by Kari Traa (NOR) in 2001/ 2003, by Aiko Uemura (JPN) in 2009, and Jennifer Heil (CAN) in 2011 - but Ikuma Horishima’s moguls and dual moguls gold-medal winning performances in Sierra Nevada marked the first time a men’s moguls skier has ever earned the World Championships double. 

Adding to Horishima’s legendary performance is the fact that, at the age of 19 years, 2 months, and 25 days, he is the youngest men’s moguls and dual moguls World Champion of all time.

Caldwell becomes first lady to land quad-twisting triple-flip in aerials competition

While it had been attempted before - Ashley Caldwell’s (USA) gold medal-winning full, double-full, full on Friday night’s aerials world championship competition marked the first time a ladies’ aerialist has landed a quad-twisting triple flip in competition. 

Shortly after Caldwell’s history-making jump, her teammate Jonathon Lillis decided it was his turn to get in on the U.S. squad’s celebration, using his final jump of the competition to land a full, full, double full and give the USA both the ladies’ and the men’s world championships titles for the first time in 22 years.

USA in the lead

With six medal events finished and six to go, the USA currently leads the medal table with four (two gold, one silver, one bronze), followed by Australia and France with three apiece. 

The Freestyle Skiing side of Sierra Nevada 2017 looks forward to ski cross, halfpipe, and slopestyle to close out the events from 16th to 19th March.

SNOWBOARD

During the medal competitions in Snowboard - slopestyle, halfpipe, snowboard cross, SBX team and parallel slalom - there have been many remarkable moments.

Seppe Smits stomps huge second run for slopestyle title

In the slopestyle competition on Saturday, Belgium’s Seppe Smits mastered the tricky course conditions to earn a score of 91.40 and the gold medal win by a massive margin of 8.15 points.

It was the 25-year old’s second World Championship title after gold in La Molina in 2011 and his fifth medal, now tying with raceboarders Benjamin Karl (AUT) and Nicolas Huet (FRA) for most FIS World Championship medals in Snowboarding.

Pipe rulers Xuetong and James make it back-to-back gold

Saturday night’s halfpipe competition witnessed some huge runs under the lights of the Sierra Nevada 2017 pipe, as various challengers stepped up in an attempt to dethrone Cai Xeutong (CHN) and Scotty James (AUS). But both reigning World Champions put down top runs in qualifications and nailed their respective first runs of the finals to earn scores that would not be beaten by anyone, with James even having a better run that would earn him a remarkable 97.50 score in the process.

Jacobellis wins incredible fifth-straight gold in snowboard cross

Lindsey Jacobellis of the United States added an incredible fifth gold medal to her World Championship medal count. She has never been beaten in World Championship SBX competitions, making her the second most successful snowboard athlete of all-time behind Karine Ruby (FRA).

While the men’s SBX world championships title went to France’s Pierre Vaultier, the story that captured the hearts of the Spanish public was when home favourite Lucas Eguibar put down a gutsy performance to win second place in front of a thrilled crowd that included His Majesty King Felipe VI.

Maiden team SBX World Championship event

In the first SBX team competition featured at the World Championships, Chloe Trespeuch and Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA) took gold for the ladies, whilst Nick Baumgartner and Hagan Kearney (USA) claimed the title on the men’s side. Meanwhile, Lucas Eguibar and Regino Hernandez thrilled the home crowd in second, making it two silver medals for Eguibar.

France in the lead

France is currently leading the Snowboard medal standings with two gold, two silver and one bronze.

Action continues with the parallel giant slalom events on 16th March, before big air closes out the FIS World Championships Snowboard events on 17th March.