Ontario boarder wins big air
Canadas freestyle snowboarders made a strong showing after some time off at Kreischberg, Austria last weekend, competing in two halfpipe events and a big air.
The first halfpipe took place at night under the lights, with thousands of fans looking on. Two Whistler riders, Justin Lamoureux and Crispin Lipscomb, made it through the qualifier and into the finals, where they finished fourth and ninth respectively. Risto Mattila of Finland took the gold, followed by Xavier Hoffman of Germany and Markus Keller of Switzerland.
Only one member of the womens development team was on hand to compete, and to her surprise Sarah Conrad of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia just missed the top-six and the finals in her World Cup debut with an eighth place result.
Sophie Rodriguez of France took the gold, followed by Lesley McKenna of Great Britain and Soko Yamaoka of Japan.
The second halfpipe event took place the following afternoon. Conrad built on her result of the night before and qualified for the finals in the top-six. She went on to finish fourth overall, missing the podium by less than a point.
"I didnt expect to be where I am this fast, but Ive been riding a lot and working really hard, so I guess it has paid off," said the 18-year-old.
Her run included huge straight airs, a front-side 540 and a front-side three.
"I just have a couple of more tricks I need to work on, and gain some more experience at this level and hopefully Ill be in the medals," she said.
Soko Yamaoka took the gold on Saturday, Anna Olofsson of Sweden was second and Nicola Pederzolli of Austria third.
None of the Canadian men managed to qualify for the finals, although Lamoureux and Lipscomb were close, finishing 13 th and 14 respectively.
In the big air event Collingwood, Ontario native Neil Connolly took the gold medal ahead of Hubert Fill of Austria and Matevz Petek of Slovenia.