Tonteri dominates snowboard slopestyle qualifiers
Today's snowboard slopestyle qualifiers at the FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships in Austria saw a tight competition which brought some excitement for spectators at site and fans following the live scoring links back home because there were some changes in the ranking during the qualification due to many riders who were able to step it up in the second run.
One of them was the defending world champion.
Although having had one training day less than his competitors Roope Tonteri threw down the most impressive run on the world championships slopestyle course at Kreischberg.
The Finnish ripper started things off with a frontside boardslide to 270 out on the top rail section before going of the canon with a cab 540. Back-to-back 1080's followed on the two-kicker line whilst he hit the top of the wall with a 50-50 to fakie and finishing things off with a frontside 1260 on the final jump.
93.66 were the reward and the high score of the day which only one other rider of heat 2 was able to get close to: Irish shredder Seamus O'Conner.
The 27-years old who had missed the halfpipe finals two days ago as 13th ranked rider of the qualifiers stomped a cab 270 to backside boardslide on the rails, a 270 on 450 out on the canon, a frontside 1080 double cork and backside 1080 on the kickers, a 50-50 to 360 out on the wall before wrapping up things with a frontside 1080 on the last jump.
The top-2 of heat 2 definitely stood out of the strong field although Kyle Mack (USA) was also able to bring down some pretty technical stuff in heat 1 with frontside boardslide to 50-50 to frontside 360 out, frontside 1260, switch backside 900, a frontside 360 bonk and a super stylish backside 1080 japan tucked knee over the last jump earning 88.66 and the top seat in heat 1.
With crystal globe winner Mans Hedberg (SWE) also nailing his run taking the second spot in his heat, some of the odd-son favourites made it straight to the finals, whilst some others like Darcy Sharpe (CAN) and Niklas Mattsson (SWE) have to pin their hope on their second shot in the semi finals scheduled for Wednesday morning 9:10 AM CET.
In the women's competition the biggest surprise was that the highly valued US team didn't get one rider straight to the finals.
In contrary, first ever big air World Cup event winner Ty Walker had to strike her colours after the qualifiers while her teammates Karly Shorr and Jessica Jenson have to battle with four more girls for the last two remaining tickets to the finals.
Their rivals, however, are no strangers with Olympians Klaudia Medlova (SVK), Anna Gyarmati (HUN), Ella Suitiala (FIN) and Aimee Fuller (GBR).
Already qualified for the final 6 ladies are Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN), Anna Gasser (AUT) as well as top-qualifiers of each heat, Jenna Blasman (CAN) and Sina Candrian (SUI).
The Swiss top gun impressed the judges with a backside lipslide, 50-50 180 out, cab 540, backside 360, 50-50 and a frontside 720.
Blasman had fought her way through to the finals with a gap to frontside lipslide, 50-50, frontside 360, backside 720, frontside wallride and a final backside 360.
The three-run finals with the best on to count will take place next Wednesday at 11 AM CET featuring six ladies and ten men.