LAAX OPEN 2021
JAMIE ANDERSON (USA) AND NIKLAS MATTSSON (SWE) ARE THE LAAX OPEN 2021 SLOPESTYLE CHAMPIONS
The first title decision was on the agenda at the LAAX OPEN for the Slopestyle finals. 8 female finalists and 12 male finalists rode for the podium places in the first FIS Snowboard Tour 2020/21 Slopestyle contest. In breathtaking finals with technically challenging runs, Jamie Anderson (USA) and Niklas Mattson (SWE) triumphed and will each be taking home prestigious OPEN titles as well as CHF 15,750 prize money.
LAAX is known for its innovative slopestyle courses, and this year was no exception. The 500 metre long course consisting of 6 elements starts with two rail sections, followed by a transition feature and two jumps. The final element is the creative Watch obstacle. Riders were full of praise for both the course and the Snowpark LAAX crew.
In the women's category, Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL) was clearly in the lead after the first run, in which all riders had to contend with the adverse wind conditions, ahead of 2-time Olympic champion Jamie Anderson (USA). In the second run, the wind died down and the ladies were finally able to tout their true talents. However, none of the women managed to beat Zoi's score, who went into her second run as the penultimate rider of the finals, still at the front of the field. Knowing that Jamie Anderson was still on top, Zoi tried to top her own score from the first run, but failed. Then came Jamie Anderson who demonstrated her full routine, only to once again prove a delivery under pressure like no other. With a super smooth run she literally bagged the highest score of the day with 84.35 points in the last minute and thus, her 5th LAAX Slopestyle title, which left her almost lost for words: "I'm so happy! In the second run, I decided to risk everything and it paid off. A big thank you to the LAAX hosts and the FIS Snowboard Tour!" Bringing in third place is delighted Australia's Tess Coady.
Experienced Swede Niklas Mattsson opened the men's final with a clean and cool technical run that earned him 84.28 points. This laid the foundation for his first Slopestyle World Cup victory, as none of his competitors were able to knock him off the pedestal and beat his score. Incidentally, Mattsson is the first Swedish Slopestyle winner in LAAX since Chris Sörman, who claimed victory at the first Open in 2005. Leon Vockensperger (GER) wowed in second place and celebrated his first World Cup podium with a run packed full of flair and finesse: "I can't believe I am standing next to my idols on the podium right now, it‘s incredible." Norway's Marcus Kleveland completed the podium in third place. Swiss semi-finals winner Moritz Boll finished in 7th place.
Run Jamie Anderson (USA):
Half-cab over the tube to backside blunt 270 out on the waterfall rail, frontside blunt 270 out
on the cannon rail, backside 540 stalefish on the wing kicker, cab frontside double 900 weddle,
frontside 720 weddle, frontside 180 in switch backside 540 Indy out on the watch.
Run Niklas Mattsson (SWE):
Backside lipslide on the tube, to front blunt switch up 270 out on the waterfall rail, cab 270 on
450 out on the cannon rail, switch double crippler Indy, switch backside 1260 melon, backside
1620 melon, cab 540 in to backside rodeo 540 out.
Results - LAAX OPEN 2021 Slopestyle finals
1. Jamie Anderson (USA)
2. Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL)
3. Tess Coady (AUS)
1. Niklas Mattsson (SWE)
2. Leon Vockensperger (GER)
3. Marcus Kleveland (NOR)
CHLOE KIM (USA) AND YUTO TOTSUKA (JPN) WIN THE HALFPIPE FINALS AT THE LAAX OPEN 2021
As soon as the sun went down, the floodlights went on over the impressive superpipe at Crap Sogn Gion for the all-time highlight of the LAAX OPEN 2021, the women’s and men’s night finals. In the first Halfpipe event of the FIS Snowboard Tour 2020/21, Olympic champion Chloe Kim (USA) and US Open Champion 2020 Yuto Totsuka (JPN) were
crowned the radiant winners of the most prestigious snowboard contest on European soil and will each go home with CHF 15,750.
The women opened the finals in the 200 metre-long Superpipe. The 2020 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Mitsuki Ono was in the lead after her first run with plenty of amplitude in front of her 2 Japanese teammates. Both defending champion Queralt Castellet (SPA) and top favourite Chloe Kim (USA) failed to make their runs, promising pure thrills with the two top favourites at the back of the pack. Spaniard Castellet went all-out again, but crashed once more at her 1080 attempt on the second hit. Last but not least, the semi-finals winner, Chloe Kim was at the start of the pipe and, coming in, in 5th place, showed nerves of steel, delivering the best run of the evening, which judges awarded with 89.75 points (backside air, frontside 1080 tail, cab 720 weddle, front 900 tail, McTwist indy). This pushed her to the top of the line at the last minute by a clear margin. An
incredible performance from Chloe, who celebrated her comeback here with her third LAAX OPEN title after almost two years absence: “I am so grateful that I managed my second run, even though I was totally nervous. I am very happy to be back!” Japan’s Mitsuki Ono (76.50 points) and Sena Tomita (75.75 points) completed the podium with young German, Leilani Ettel finishing finals in a strong 4th place.
Then came the men’s finals, dominated mainly by the duel between Scotty James and Yuto Totsuka, showing probably the highest riding level in the history of Halfpipe snowboarding. But, back to the beginning: First, Ruka Hirano (JAP) showed a phenomenal run, giving him the current lead with 88.25 points until defending champion Scotty James (AUS) took it from him with a technically challenging run (93.75 points). However, the top four of the semi-finals were still up at the start at this point, including Scotty’s biggest rival Yuto Totsuka (JAP). The 19-year-old Japanese snowboarder showed a high-calibre run that put him in 2nd place just behind Scotty (90.25 points). In the second run, no other rider had a patch on the two leading scores. However, it was clear that both Scotty and Yuto were going to go all-out to take the title.
Scotty could not top his score. Yuto, on the other hand, stunned the judges with a run, the likes of which the world has never seen. Maybe even the best Halfpipe run ever: frontside 1440 frontside grab on the first hit, followed by a combo that Yuto landed for the first time today – Switch frontside 1260, frontside grab into switch backside 1080 Weddle – and a backside 1260 Weddle and frontside double 1260 frontside on the last two hits.
Yuto was bursting with pride: “I am so happy that I did that combo for the first time in my life!” After three 2nd place finishes in a row, Yuto Totsuka finally took his first LAAX OPEN win. Ruka Hirano (JAP) completed the podium in third place and Germany’s Andre Höflich surprised with a very strong performance, just missing the podium in 4th place. The three Swiss were not able to use their home advantage and their best was David Habluetzel in 6th place.
The LAAX OPEN 2021 ended on an exciting and sporty top-notch and, with this third night finals and 17th pipe finals of an OPEN Contest at Crap Sogn Gion, will go down in LAAX history.
Results - LAAX OPEN 2021 Halfpipe finals
1. Chloe Kim (USA)
2. Mitsuki Ono (JPN)
3. Sena Tomita (JPN)
1. Yuto Totsuka (JPN)
2. Scotty James (AUS)
3. Ruka Hirano (JPN)
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