USA Win & Japanese One/Two Punch In Atlanta On Snowboards

Some of the biggest news in American winter sports comes out of the south, out of a city, and hit it out of the ballpark figuratively and, sort of, literally. World Cup Big Air competition returned to the United States for the first time in four years, which was also held in an MLB stadium. But, it wasn't the Green Monster this time, it was in the deep south of Hot-Lanta!

A Japanese One/Two Punch For Women's Snowboarding

It was at Suntrust Park in Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend that the team from Japan took the top two spots in Snowboard Big Air, the first time this discipline has seen action in the U.S. since this event took place at Boston's Fenway Park.

Taking the top spot was Reira Iwabuchi. The youngster from Japan closed down the competition with a near-perfect backside double cork 1080 and a cab double underflip 900. Her combined score from both jumps totaled 170.50, giving her a serious lead over the second-place finisher, which was one of her own teammates. This win also put her at an impressive 2900 points in Big Air, achieving her second straight crystal globe in this discipline.

“I’m happy for the two times I got first place in big air this year,” Iwabuchi said before receiving her crystal globe, “I was able to do the tricks I wanted to and this year, and big air competition was so good for me.”

The second-place finisher from Japan was 15-year-old Kokomo Murase. Though only this little one's second World Cup competition, she was able to pull her first podium appearance. She went with a mirror run to that of her teammate Iwabuchi, though one of her landings was not as clean as it needed to be. Her score totaled at 159.50 for the night.

Third went to Candian rider, Brooke Voigt. Throwing a tweaked frontside 720 melon and a backside 720 mute gave her a score of 143.25. This was Voigt's second Big Air podium of the season, which also secured her a second-place spot on the overall standings with 1620 points.

Chris Corning Wins One For The Home Country

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Not only would American rider Chris Corning win in front of a home-country crowd, but he would make history for the second time in recent weeks. Once again the young rider would use his signature quad cork 1800 melon to not only destroy his competition but to set another record. He performed the same trick in Beijing two weeks prior to be the first person to land a four-times inverted trick in a city competition, he's now also the first person to pull it off on a scaffold Big Air jump. His total score of the night totaled 177.25 after the three jumps, putting him just over ten points ahead of second-place.

“I just hucked it really hard,” Corning laughed from the finish area when asked how he did what many thought to be impossible, “I knew I could do it. I knew I had enough time on this jump, just because I know what I’ve done before, and I was able to think about the right timing and stuff over the past couple of days. I knew I could do it, I just wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it tonight. But the jump got harder and more solid and I thought, ‘well, heck, maybe we’re gonna do it.’ So we did it.”

This win secured the Big Air crystal globe for the 20-year-old with a Big Air points score of 3200 for the season, 900 points ahead of second place. This makes seven career World Cup titles for Corning across Big Air, Slopestyle, and Freestyle overall.

Second-place for the night, as well as for Big Air overall, went to Canadian rider Nicolas Laframboise. Two of his jumps featuring a frontside and a backside triple cork 1440 gave the youngster from our neighbor to the north a total score of 166.75. Finishing off the podium for the men was Japanese rider Ryoma Kimata. With only his third World Cup start, the 17-year-old would pull his first podium appearance. A cab and a regular frontside 1440 earned him a score of 163.00. Kimata would not only finish third for the night but third in the points standings for Big Air. Yes, all three men made podium right where they finished the season.

Just as note, being that this was an American venue, six of the top ten spots for the Men were taken by home country riders. It certainly was a big night for the United States at an event that was more than a little unique.

Thumbnail Credit: SunTrust Park/FB


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