SN2017 so far: Highlights of the 2017 Snowboard World Championships
After Monday’s team snowboard cross event we’ve now passed the halfway point of the Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships, and over the course of four medal competitions so far - slopestyle, halfpipe, snowboard cross, and sbx team - there have been several remarkable moments, and here we take the opportunity to look back at the best so far.
Seppe Smits stomps huge second run for second world championship title, fifth medal
The Snowboard world championships opened on Saturday with slopestyle competition under the scorching Sierra Nevada sun, where Belgium’s Seppe Smits stepped up and put it down despite the tricky course conditions to earn a score of 91.40 and the gold medal win by a massive margin of 8.15 points.
Saturday’s win gave the 25-year-old Smits’ his second world championship title (with his first win coming in 2011 at La Molina) and his fifth total medal, putting him in a tie at the top of the all-time world championships medal table with raceboarders Benjamin Karl (AUT) and Nicolas Huet (FRA).
Pipe rulers Cai Xuetong and Scotty James make it back-to-back golds
A huge crowd on hand at 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 reigning world champions Cai Xeutong (CHN) and Scotty James (AUS). Unfortunately for their competitors, neither of those athletes would give an inch.
Cai and James both ran the table in Sierra Nevada, putting down the top runs in qualifications and then nailing their respective first runs in the finals to earn scores that would not be beat through the next two rounds, with James then going on to stomp a second run that was even better than the first, earning himself an astronomical score of 97.50 in the process.
Lindsey Jacobellis wins incredible fifth-straight gold
The USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis added one more story to her legend in Sunday’s Sierra Nevada 2017 snowboard cross competition, winning an incredible fifth gold medal and world championship title.
While Jacobellis’ run of supremacy can’t be considered a true streak due to the fact that she didn’t compete in the Gangwon 2009 competition, the fact remains that she has never been beaten in world champs SBX competition, making her the second most successful world championships snowboard athlete of all-time behind the great Karine Ruby (FRA).
Lucas Eguibar takes men’s SBX silver for Spain
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 that of Lucas Eguibar, who put down a gutsy performance to win second place in front of a crowd that included Spain’s King Filipe VI.
Coming into Sierra Nevada 2017 as the host nation’s best hope of capturing a medal, the expectations placed on Eguibar ahead of Sunday’s competition were huge. However the 23-year-old showed no signs of stress, hyping up the Spanish crowd after every hard-fought heat and battling to earn a silver medal that would be presented to him by the King himself.
History written with first-ever team SBX world championship competition
Monday in Sierra Nevada saw in change in the weather and a little bit of history being written, with the first-ever team snowboard cross world championship competition taking place as the snow came down in Spain.
The ladies’ competition saw a one-two performance by the French, with Chloe Trespeuch and Nelly Moenne Loccoz taking the gold, and Manon Petite and Charlotte Bankes claiming silver, while the USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis and Faye Gulini would claim bronze.
Over on the men’s side, the hard-charging duo of Nick Baumgartner and Hagan Kearney took the men’s title, Spaniards Lucas Eguibar and Regino Hernandez thrilled the home crowd with a silver medal performance, while Canada’s Kevin Hill and Chris Robanske would round out the podium and take the bronze.