Fukushima, Japan – February 23, 2008: The Swatch TTR FIVE(5)STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open is set to rock Japan from February 26th to March 2nd 2008 at the Alts Bandai resort in Fukushima. Some of the world’s best snowboarders including Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, Jamie Anderson and Torah Bright will be making the long trip to compete in Halfpipe and Slopestyle formats for two batches of 850 TTR Ranking points and over $125 000 USD in prize money.
While the TTR points distribution may not be as high as a SIX(6)STAR event, the Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open still provides riders with a much needed boost. The Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour will see the next ranking update after the Slopestyle competition which is immediately followed by a Superpipe showdown the following day.
The women’s field will see the most change in Japan as the current Swatch TTR Top 4 female riders fight with slopestyle skills to become the new TTR World No. 1, even if just for a day. That’s right – current Tour leader Jamie Anderson (USA), Kelly Clark (USA) who finished 2nd in last year’s Nippon Open Slopestyle, 06/07 TTR Tour Champion Torah Bright (AUS) and SIX(6)STAR Burton European Open Slopestyle No. 2 Jenny Jones (GBR) all have opportunities to take Tour Lead following the slopestyle battle. This will set things up for an enthralling Superpipe competition as the women once again compete for vital ranking points in the chase to be Tour Champion.
Other female riders will still be looking to move up in the Swatch TTR rankings as well. Swiss rider Sina Candrian could move up into the TTR Top 5 with Claudia Fliri (AUT) who finished 3rd in the Slopestyle at the recent SIX(6)STAR Roxy Chicken Jam in Kaprun, seeking out a spot in the TTR Top 10.
The men’s field will see lots of movers and shakers in the lower rankings. Swatch TTR World No. 15 Antti Autti from Finland, and TTR World No. 18 Mikkel Bang from Norway will all be after Swatch TTR World No. 7 at the Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open Slopestyle. All heads will be turned towards US rider and 06/07 Tour Champion Shaun White who, along with Takaharu Nakai from Japan, will be after TTR World No. 33. Fumiyuki Murakami, also from Japan, will be competing for a spot in the TTR Top 50 while Janne Korpi (FIN), who finished 5th in the Slopestyle of last year’s Nippon Open, eyes a spot in the TTR Top 15.
Current Tour leader and winner of last year’s Nippon Open Slopestyle Kevin Pearce (USA) and current Swatch TTR World No. 3 Peetu Piiroinen (Fin) will both maintain their current Tour positions after the Slopestyle. But things will come down to the FIVE(5)STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open Superpipe throw down where we could see some bigger changes in the rankings.
The Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open is sure to be an event of mega proportions as many of the best TTR riders clash and compete for Japanese glory and inch one step closer to the $250 000 end-of –season Swatch TTR Tour Prize purse. The Nippon Open is one of Japan’s most popular snowboarding events, drawing over 40,000 spectators from around the world and features coverage by the TXN network and ESPN.
The event will also be broadcast to you by go211. So check it out!