Gasser and Sandbech claim world champs Gold in stunning big air show
Anna Gasser (AUT) and Staale Sandbech (NOR) have crowned themselves new big air world champions at the Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in a thrilling final of the major event's last snowboard competition which saw both Gold medallists landing tricks they have never sticked in a contest before.
In fact, Gasser became the first women to ever land a backside double cork 1080 mute in a competition wowing not only the judges and fans but also her coaches and herself.
With her arms raised in joy and her jaw dropped almost to her knees the dominating rider of this winter couldn't belief what she had just done when riding over to the sponsor wall to wait for the judges call.
However, everybody around just knew what would be coming in this women's final which will not be soon forgotten as all six ladies were going for it showcasing under the lights how fast women's snowboarding is progressing right now.
By scoring a perfect 100 for the historical trick the 25-year-old took her career's first title with a total of 189.50 after having also landed her signature cab double cork 900 mute before.
“I haven't really realised it yet. I'm so happy, especially that I have put down the backside dub 1080. I have been thinking of this trick for quite a while now. In fact, the world championships title is the icing on the cake.
Today, everything just came together. I knew I had to land my first tricks clean. I got good scores on them, and then I knew that it's now or never to go for it.”
And her competitors for the big air crown appreciated Gasser's dedication to once again push the sport a little bit further.
Enni Rukajarvi (FIN; 165.25) and Silje Norendal (NOR; 162.75) who both took the respective Silver and Bronze lauded Gasser with Norendal, who had sticked a cab 900, saying:
“The finals were pretty good which is pretty cool, and I'm super stoked to see Anna landing the back double 10. I think women's snowboarding is progressing so much, and I'm just happy to be a part of it.”
Over in the men's event, Sandbech, who had just been able to ride again before christmas coming back from a second meniscus surgery he had to undergo after the first one didn't went well, sticked a cab 1440 tail in the semis as well as the finals.
However, it was his backside triple cork 1440 and a frontside 1440 tail the judges liked more giving him a total of 188.25 to walk away with the Gold in the three run, best two count final of his first ever world championships competition.
“Hell yeah! It's amazing. I mean, I was able to land all of my runs in the finals, actually three different tricks, three different rotations which I kind of mostly did for myself to prove that I can do it. It's been a good night,” Sandbech said after finally being back on top of his game for which he had fought hard over the last couple of weeks.
“I kind of have been pushed into competitions right away where I had to learn my tricks of last year again. I have been struggling a bit with the confidence to not being scared. But the last two weeks until now have been a confidence boost, and I feel myself and my snowboarding again.”
Chris Corning (USA; 182.75) as well as Marcus Kleveland (NOR; 177.25), the only one to land a cab triple cork 1620, rounded out the podium as second and third, respectively, making the podium sweep by world champs novices complete.