SNOWBOARD: Corning defends Winter Games NZ title as U.S. finishes 1-2 in Big Air opener

Second straight Winter Games NZ Big Air title for Chris Corning (USA) (Photo: Iain McGregor/WGNZ)

The FIS World Cup season for underway – at least for the men – in New Zealand with the first of four competitions in Big Air. The men’s event went off as scheduled, but the women’s finals were not held due to high winds that came up after the men’s event was completed.

American Chris Corning came in as the defending champion and defend he did. According to the FIS report:

“Sitting in third place after the first run with a score of 80.75 for a frontside 1440 melon, Chris leapfrogged into top spot on run two, stomping a jaw-dropping quad cork 1800 for a score of 95.50 and a two-jump combined score of 176.25, stunning both the crowd and his fellow riders at the top of the course in the process.”

Said the winner afterwards, “I’m super happy we got this contest off, and everyone rode so well. It means everything to get this win; this is what we come to do, this is what we spend all year training for, this is what all the hard work goes into. I’m happy to come out with the win.

“There were a few of us from the very start of the day who wanted the contest to go. Sometimes the wind is really tough, but today it was really steady and didn’t matter than much and a lot of us were able to ride right through it. And then once we started the contest it calmed right down, so it worked out perfectly.”

Corning teammate Red Gerard, the Slopestyle gold winner from PyeongChang, had three quality runs, scoring 87.00 on his first try – good for second place – and stayed consistent with follow-up scores of 72.25 and 74.25. His best two runs totaled 161.25, ahead of bronze medalist Kalle Jarvilehto (FIN) at 160.25.

For the women’s competition, the qualifying scores had to be used, handing the victory to Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi. Summaries:

FIS Snowboard World Cup
Cardrona (NZL) ~ 24-25 August 2019
(Full results here)

Men/Big Air: 1. Chris Corning (USA), 176.25; 2. Red Gerard (USA), 161.25; 3. Kalle Jarvilehto (FIN), 160.25; 4. Nicolas LaFramboise (CAN), 160.00; 5. Matthew Cox (AUS), 158.00. Also: 6. Lyon Farrell (USA), 101.50; … 8. Luke Winkelmann (USA), 81.00.

Women/Big Air (qualifying scores) 1. Enni Rukajarvi (FIN), 86.00; 2. Katie Ormerod (GBR), 83.75; 3. Silje Norendal (NOR), 83.00; 4. Sarka Pancochova (CZE), 81.50; 5. Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL), 78.25.