American snowboard stars Chris Corning and Chloe Kim were superb in winning their events at the famed Laax Open in Switzerland, as the U.S. won four medals among the four events in Halfpipe and Slopestyle.
Competing on Friday, Corning won the men’s Slopestyle event, nailing his second run after standing third following the first round. His score of 89.10 was well clear of runner-up Staale Sandbech of Norway (87.35) and Swiss Moritz Thoenen (80.55) with first-round leader Judd Henkes (USA: 78.35) finishing fourth.
“Winning Laax was amazing,” said Corning. “This contest is a really big one and to have some top guys there made it even better. I had so much fun everyday hitting the park and then having pow laps after. Laax is a beautiful place and I could not be happier with this week.”
Kim, the Olympic gold medalist in the Halfpipe, was simply brilliant and showed she is the finest piperider in the world. Her first-round score of 89.00 was nine points better than the rest of the field and then she really turned it on in the final round – when already the winner – she went all-out and scored a sensational 93.75.
“I kinda wish I had got the grab better on the cab 10, but other than that I’m happy I put it down,” said Kim afterwards. “I was a little nervous about the night final, but it turned out well. The pipe was sick and the ladies were killing it and it was so fun to be a part of this contest.”
The crowd loved it, but the people who were sick might have been her competitors. Second was Spain’s Queralt Castellet at 80.50 and third was American Arielle Gold – the Olympic bronze medalist in 2018 – at 77.25.
Both Corning and Kim lead their respective World Cup disciplines with 1,800 and 2,000 points.
In the Women’s Slopestyle, Norway’s Silje Norendal won her second World Cup medal of the season and earned her first career gold, ahead of Swiss Celia Petrig, 23, who won her first World Cup medal.
Australian star Scotty James won his second World Cup gold of the season and took the lead in the men’s Halfpipe race with a commanding win, scoring 95.75 to outdistance Japan’s Yuto Tosuka (92.00) and American Jake Pates (85.50). Summaries:
FIS Snowboard World Cup
Laax (SUI) ~ 16-19 January 2019
(Full results here)
Men’s Halfpipe: 1. Scotty James (AUS), 95.75; 2. Yuto Totsuka (JPN), 92.00; 3. Jake Pates (USA), 85.50; 4. Raibu Katayama (JPN), 84.50; 5. Ruka Hirano (JPN), 84.00. Also: 10. Chase Josey (USA), 21.25; 11. Joshua Bowman (USA), 11.25.
Women’s Halfpipe: 1. Chloe Kim (USA), 93.75; 2. Queralt Castellet (ESP), 80.50; 3. Arielle Gold (USA), 77.25; 4. Xuetong Cai (CHN), 73.25; 5. Maddie Mastro (USA), 55.50.
Men’s Slopestyle: 1. Chris Corning (USA), 89.10; 2. Staale Sandbech (NOR), 87.35; 3. Moritz Thoenen (SUI),80.55; 4. Judd Henkes (USA), 78.35; 5. Nicolas Huber (SUI), 70.65. Also: 7. Lyon Farrell (USA), 67.55; … 10. Nikolas Baden (USA), 43.60; 11. Sean Fitzsimons (USA), 41.15.
Women’s Slopestyle: 1. Silje Norendal (NOR), 78.35; 2. Celia Petrig (SUI), 67.60; 3. Sina Candrian (SUI), 65.40; 4. Julia Marino (USA), 54.10; 5. Reira Iwabuchi (JPN), 33.80.