Cardrona, New Zealand (29 August 2018) –Japan’s Kokomo Murase stomped the win and, with it, a FIS Junior World Championship title in Snowboard Big Air, on day six of competition today at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
The ladies’ Snowboard Big Air competition, which is also sanctioned by the World Snowboard Tour, was held on the final jump in the Big Bucks Park. The eight finalists each had three runs and the combined total of their two top scores determined the placings.
Competitors have been challenged by the weather conditions with fog and wind causing delays to the schedule all week. However, when competition finally got underway this afternoon, the youngest competitor in the field, 13-year-old Murase, seemed to be taking it all in her stride.
She put down a frontside 720 melon grab for a score of 88.20 on run one and then wrapped up the win with a backside 720 mute grab for a score of 92.80 on run two. Even with the gold medal already in the bag, the gutsy teenager had planned to step up with a frontside 900 on her last jump but sketched the landing.
“I’m really stoked to win today. I’m looking forward to coming back next year and winning again,” she said.
“I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t stomp the front nine on my third jump so I’m going to be more careful with that next time.”
Canada’s Sommer Gendron claimed the silver medal, recovering from a crash on run one to land a backside 360 mute on run two and a cab 540 on run three.
“I am really proud of myself,” said Gendron. “I had a pretty bad crash on my first run and I went and did the trick again and landed it, so felt really good.
“I am obsessed with the adrenaline rush and learning a new trick. Just landing a big jump feels so good. I am in love with it.”
Ziyan Ren (CHN) finished in the bronze medal position, with a frontside 360 indy on run one and backside 180 on run two.
Head Judge Matt Jennings (USA) commented, “This was an exciting final. The women showed us some quality runs.”
The FIS Junior Freeski Slopestyle World Championship 2018 Qualifiers scheduled for today have been postponed due to poor visibility.
High res images available here