Ormerod and Khadarin secure historic wins in Moscow
Katie Ormerod (GBR) and Vlad Khadarin (RUS) have not only claimed their respective career's first in today's penultimate big air World Cup of the 2016-17 season staged in the Krylatskoye Sports Centre right outside of downtown Moscow (RUS).
Facing tough weather conditions with temperatures below -30 °C, the British shredder and the Russian newcomer also became the first ever to win a big air World Cup for their home country.
Vlad Khadarin came from zero to hero taking the scene by storm in the first snowboard World Cup competition of 2017 stomping a switch backside 1260 and a frontside 1440 in his first ever World Cup event earning an impressive score of 182.25 at the first big air World Cup in the Russian capital in seven years.
“That’s unbelievable, I haven’t got any other words because everything here was new for me: my first World Cup contest, my first city big air on scaffolding and the first place. I don’t know, it’s just unbelievable, it’s so great and crazy.
This is my first World Cup win but of course I’m dreaming to win others, maybe not this season but in the next years,” Khadarin said.
The third best qualifier therefore relegated Canada's Antoine Truchon (174.75) who felt like home in Quebec facing super cold temperatures and Fridtjof Tischendorf (NOR, 163.75) who eanred his career's first podium finish in his fifth start to the respective second and third rank while new big air and overall snowboard freestyle World Cup leader Seppe Smits (BEL, 156.75) had to put up with fourth.
In addition, the 18-year-old YOG 2016 slopestyle silver medallist from Russia who has been living and training in Madonna di Campiglio for the past six years after he moved to Italy aged twelve also had the guts to go for a frontside 18 in his victory lap before history was finally made in dominant fashion.
Ormerod makes race for Crystal Globe exciting again
In the women's event, Ormerod celebrated her first ever World Cup win with the smallest advantage possible.
After duelling with this season's three-time World Cup winner Anna Gasser in the women's finals stomping the same tricks like her Austrian rival (backside 720 and cab 540), the 19-year-old goofy rider earned a 153.75 and therefore only 0.25 more than Gasser.
“It feels amazing, I’ve always wanted to win a World Cup, and I’m really happy to win it here. I hope there’s more to come,” she commented.
“I hope to get the Crystal Globe in Quebec City, I would love to get another podium and hopefully will win in Quebec. I just keep pushing and try to get it again.”
However, this won't be an easy task as Gasser who successfully came back from a knee injury today still comfortably leads the women's ranking ahead of Ormerod with only one more big air World Cup to come on February 11, 2017 in Quebec City (CAN). The event will also serve as final of the three-stop Super Series.
Ormerod has to win to edge off Gasser of the top spot in the women's ranking but the Austrian would definitely take home her career's first World Cup title if finishing eight in Quebec next month.
As a result, the 25-year-old Carinthian stated: “I’m actually just happy to be down here healthy after really challenging conditions, I’ve just come back from a small injury, so the second place feels like a win for me today.”
Best qualifier Klaudia Medlova (SVK, 117.50) rounded out the podium as third.
The snowboard freestyle World Cup tour continues in Kreischberg (AUT) with this season's first slopestyle event slated to take place from January 13 – 14, 2017
Full results of the big air World Cup opener in Copper Mountain can be viewed online.