Seppe Smits clinches Big Air in his hometown Antwerpen
About 10,000 spectators celebrate their national hero and his first ever World Cup win
Seppe Smits (BEL) has won the FIS Snowboard World Cup big air event in Antwerpen, Belgium.
The 22-years-old secured his first ever World Cup win in his hometown in front of some 10,000 fans who not only had overtaken the whole event area at Waagnatie, right at the harbour, but also had flooded the streets next to the venue site.
The main actor of the evening, who had also played a major role in the development of the largest ramp ever used in a Big Air World Cup, fulfilled his dream and the one of the loud and enthusiastic crowd with a winning score of 183.25 points.
By throwing in a backside 1080 double cork and a cab 1260 double cork Smits raised the bar to high for his competitors in the final of the best twelve, who all showcased some outstanding and high-class snowboarding.
Clemens Schattschneider (AUT, 181.50) and Patrick Burgener (SUI, 180) rounded out the podium as second and third respectively.
According to this outstanding result at this historic moment – it was the first ever World Cup to take place in Belgium – the reigning slopestyle World Champion had to take a deep breath before answering the questions.
“I feel pretty crazy. It's been insane, the whole contest, the whole event. I'm super happy.”
In fact, Smits, who also had to deal with two hands full of media crews following him around the event all day long, had never expected anything like this.
“When I came here, I was going for a top-3 result. This win is just above my expectations. It's such a crazy moment right now.”
Also his main rivals during the prime time show, Clemens Schattschneider and Patrick Burgener, who both had impressed with switch backside 1260 double corks as well as a backside 1080 (Schattschneider) and frontside 1080 double cork (Burgener) were pretty pleased with their personal outcome of the day.
While the Austrian talent noted “It's unbelievable. Claiming the second spot at the first real contest of the season makes me happy.” the Swiss young gun was even more relieved.
“I'm very glad. Actually, it wasn't my best day as I felt very tired. But due to a good qualifier heat I was able to proceed directly to the finals. As a consequence, I was able to rest for a while.
Then it went absolutely smooth. I was able to stomp all of my tricks. I did risk a lot. Switch back 1260 and front 1080 are pretty hard.”