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Queenstown snowboarder Tiarn Collins has made it back to the winner’s circle.
Collins topped the podium at the Calgary Snow Rodeo in Canada yesterday in the slopestyle.
"It feels good to be back competing and a win is insane. I can’t believe it," Collins said.
Collins sustained a serious shoulder injury just days before he was due to compete at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea and has been battling to make it back to top form since.
He signalled he was on his way back to his peak with a fourth in Friday’s qualifying rounds.
The quality field of 50 riders Featured X Games Aspen gold and silver medallists Darcy Sharpe, of Canada, and Mons Roisland, of Norway.
The creative course design provided myriad options with a three-rail section at the top followed by a two-sided quarterpipe-tabletop hybrid, then a big hybrid jump with twin kickers and a rollover-butter section down the middle, and finally a straight-up monster booter to finish things off.
Opening with a new trick, a switch-back 270 on to forward, Collins put down a tidy rail line but it was on the jumps that he earned top marks despite a near miss on the cab 1440 nosegrab on the very last jump.
"I almost over-rotated. I had to fight to hold on to it and was literally holding my breath right to the end," Collins said.
The judges scored him 80.50. Japan’s Ruki Tobita was second on 79.53 points and Canadian Liam Brearley third on 76.58.
Meanwhile, Switzerland-based New Zealand skier Claire McGregor earned her third win at the Freeride world qualifier tour in Montafon in Austria. The win has secured her a spot in the 2021 world tour proper.