Incredible Cardrona big air opens World Cup season
Cardrona (NZ) - The first FIS Snowboard big air World Cup of 2018/19 also served as the spectacular finale to the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort on Saturday, where the USA’s Chris Corning was able to celebrate a jaw-dropping World Cup win on his 19th birthday and Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi claimed top spot for the ladies’ at the 2018/19 World Cup season opener.
Conditions at Cardrona were once again clear and calm, setting the stage for some tuly astonishing big air action on the perfectly shaped 75-foot jump. Competitors each had three runs on the day, with their best two-jump scores being combined for final rankings. And, as well as a being a World Cup competition, today’s event was also sanctioned as a World Snowboard Tour Elite International Event.
At the end of the first run Corning was sitting in second place having put down a tidy flat spin 1440 for a 90.60, while 2018 junior world champion Takeru Otsuka (JPN) held the lead with a score of 95.6 for his cab 1620 indy.
Corning laid it all on the line on run two, stomping perfectly a backside quad-corked 1800 melon grab for one of the highest big air World Cup scores ever seen, earning himself a score of 98.00 and a massive cheer from top to bottom of the venue.
Otsuka’s frontside triple 1440 mute on run three was enough to secure him second place and his first career World Cup podium, but there would be no stopping birthday boy Corning, who upped his score on run three with a frontside 1440 chicken salad for the win.
“I couldn’t ask for a better birthday,” said Corning. “I haven’t done the quad since the Olympics and I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth since (finishing fourth there). I’ve been thinking about doing it and when I landed my first trick today I knew I had two chances to go for it.”
Norway’s Mons Roisland claimed his third World Cup podium with a third place result, recovering from a crashed landing on run one to land a switch backside 1620 mute on run two for a score of 93.6, and a backside triple 1080 mute on run three with a score of 81.8.
The top qualifier in the ladies’ field, Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi held the lead from her very first run, when she landed a backside 720 mute grab. After easily putting down a frontside 720 mute grab on run two, first place was assured for the impressive 16-year-old.
“I did what I wanted to do and I’m really happy,” said Iwabuchi.
Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) and Klaudia Medlova (SVK) battled hard for the silver medal, as PyeongChang silver medalist Medlova initially put herself in front with a score of 85.6 for her picture-perfect backside 540 indy on run one, with Onitsuka scroing 80.00 for a slightly sketchy cab 900 stalefish. However, a stomped backside 720 mute grab on her third run saw Onitsuka leapfrog into second place after Medlova just barely got her third-jump frontside 720 mute grab around, forcing the Slovakian to accept a third place result.
- Full ladies’ results
- Full men’s results
- Rights Free Images available here
- FIS Snowboard SmugMug gallery