Magnusson tops junior champs big air qualifier

Norwegian freeskier Birk Ruud goes huge during the junior world championships big air qualifying...
Norwegian freeskier Birk Ruud goes huge during the junior world championships big air qualifying yesterday. PHOTO: WINTER GAMES NZ
Early fog delayed proceedings for the junior world championship big air qualifiers yesterday, but there was plenty of action once the skies cleared.

American and Norwegian athletes dominated the men's freeski competition but, despite the two nations claiming eight of the 12 available spots in the final, it was Sweden's Oliwer Magnusson who was the top qualifier with a score of 93.80.

American Ryan Stevenson won the second heat with a score of 91.60.

Ben Barclay was the top New Zealand skier, finishing in 11th.

It was the Japanese who dominated the snowboard heats.

In the men's competition, Japan's Takeru Otzuka wowed the judges to go through to the final as the top qualifier on 96.00.

Canadians John MacDougall stomped his first run to top the second heat and progress to the final with a score of 90.20.

Thirteen-year-old Kokomo Murase, of Japan, topped the women's qualification with a score of 89.20.

American Jade Thurgood and Ziyan Ren, of China, rounded off the top three of the only heat with scores of 82.60 and 76.60 respectively.

With only eight athletes on the women's freeski start list, it will be held as a straight finals competition today.

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