Snowboard sensation Mathieu Crepel caused a storm at the 7th FIS Snowboard World Championships in Arosa, Switzerland this weekend, walking away with two titles in one weekend!
The 22 year-old snowboarder from France successfully competed against 2005 title holder Antti Autti (FIN) in an enthralling Big Air final. Before 5,500 spectators, the duel for gold could not have been closer. After Crepel had taken the lead after the first jump with a score of 27.9 points, Autti countered in the second run with a “Frontside 1260" and took over the lead with 28.1 points. But the Finn had to watch the French rider performing a “Switch Backside 1260" and thus earning 29.4 points – the highest score so far in the new K.O format – for taking home the Gold medal. Janne Korpi took third (FIN) against his fellow countryman Sami Saarenpaa.
Mathieu Crepel was all smiles after the contest: “It’s an amazing feeling to win the World Championships title in such a high class final. I landed my last trick for the first time ever in a contest. It’s unbelievable that I did it in such a big contest like the World Championships."
Antti Autti was also pleased with silver after he was narrowly defeated in the battle for the title: “I’m feeling great to have silver, especially because this was the first day I was riding without pain killers after hurting my leg at a photo shoot a few weeks ago. The big final was fantastic. It’s absolutely crazy to see what is possible if you train a lot. Two years ago, I won the World Championships with a “Frontside 900" and a “Cab 900" and today we had such a high level riding."
The Big Air Podium:
- 1. Mathieu Crepel (FRA)
- 2. Antti Autti (FIN)
- 3. Janne Korpi (FIN)
In the final event of the FIS Snowboard World Championships, the Halfpipe contest, Crepel did not disappoint with Manuela Laura Pesko (SUI) and Mathieu Crepel (FRA) taking the last titles of the event in front of 7,850 eager spectators.
In an exciting ladies’ final, Pesko (43.1) relegated Soko Yamaoka (JPN, 43.0) and Paulina Ligocka (42.9) from Poland to the second and third rank. On the men’s side, the with two Gold medals most successful rider of the 2007 World Championships Mathieu Crepel (46.7) was accompanied on the podium by Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN, 46.6) and Brad Martin (CAN, 43.3).
Mathieu Crepel had never expected to win the Halfpipe competition after taking home Gold in the Big Air, especially with a lead of only 0.1 points today: “It’s incredible. Since the Olympics I didn’t ride a Halfpipe until January," he said. "I never expected to end up that good. Before the World Championships, I wasn’t sure if I should start here but now I’m glad that I made the right decision."
Manuela Laura Pesko said after the final: “I felt such pressure, I couldn’t sleep at all last night. In addition, my stomach was going crazy, too. I was totally nervous." The new champion added: “That was the best moment in my life. It’s amazing to stand at the start knowing that you have won already – especially when the crowd is perfect, too."
Paulina Ligocka was all smiles after winning the first ever World Championships medal for Poland: “I’m totally happy. I wasn’t expecting this result. So, I’m glad that my run worked out."
After he had missed Gold only by 0.1 points, Kazuhiro Kokubo said: “Of course I’m disappointed but Mathieu was riding super good today. In the end, I’m pleased with the Silver medal."
The Halfpipe Podium:
- 1. Mathieu Crepel (FRA)
- 2. Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN)
- 3. Brad Martin (CAN)
- 1. Manuela Laura Pesko (SUI)
- 2. Soko Yamaoka (JPN)
- 3. Paulina Ligocka (POL)