Gold to Sadowski-Synnott despite crash

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in the start gate at the Kreischberg Big Air World Cup yesterday. PHOTO:...
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in the start gate at the Kreischberg Big Air World Cup yesterday. PHOTO: JOERG MITTER
Wanaka snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott claimed the gold medal at the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Kreischberg, Austria yesterday.

This was the first world cup of the season and the first opportunity for athletes to earn qualification points towards next year’s Winter Olympics.

After crashing on her first run, the three-run format with the top two scores combined meant the pressure was on Sadowski-Synnott.

Rising to the challenge, she successfully stomped a backside 1080 in her second run and a switch-back 900 in her third run to take the win with a combined score of 162.40.

Sadowski-Synnott was determined to make good, though.

"It was pretty difficult [after crashing the first run]," she said.

‘‘I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I wanted to land the backside 1080 in competition."

It was the first time she has landed her back 1080 in competition.

"I only learned it in New Zealand this summer and so I was just stoked to land that in my second run.

‘‘It really set me up for the switch-back 900.”

The level of competition was high. There was just a point splitting the top three competitors.

Kokomo Murase, of Japan, scored the single highest score, finishing in second place with an overall score of 161.80.

Veteran Anna Gasser, of Austria, rounded out the podium with a score of 161.40.

Seven New Zealand athletes competed over the weekend. Cool Wakushima finished 17th in her world cup debut while fellow Queenstown snowboarder Tiarn Collins was 18th. Aucklander Mitchell Davern finished 36th.

Over on the freeski side, Margaux Hackett (Wanaka) finished in 12th place, Ben Barclay (Auckland) finished 38th and Luca Harrington (Wanaka) finished 48th in the first Big Air World Cup of his career.

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