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Air + Style Beijing 2017: Anna Gasser and Mark McMorris Win Big Air

As you may have already heard, the elite Big Air contest that is Air + Style Beijing has been incorporated into the FIS World Cup tour – which means, among other things, that the event is subject to their particular unmistakeable brand of licence-free-music-blighted highlights video. Feast your eyes (if not your ears) on the men’s event above.

Confirming that he is snowboarding’s answer to the T-1000, Mark McMorris took his first major contest win since that horrific accident in the backcountry last season. McLovin stomped both frontside and backside triple corks, the latter with nary so much as a hand drag. He might not have been going up against Max Parrot or Marcus Kleveland, but this is still a big win for McMorris.

“Mark McMorris took his first major contest win since that horrific accident last season”

Second place went to Kiwi rider Tiarn Collins, who surprised everyone by bagging the highest score in qualifying. In the final he focused on flat spins, putting down backside and cab 14s (the latter with a sick double nose grab which sadly went the way of Team America‘s secret signal prior to landing).

It was just enough to stay ahead of Torgeir Bergrem, the final rider in what turned out to be a three-horse race. He rounded out the men’s podium with a cab double cork 1440 and backside triple cork 1620 that put him way ahead of the rest of the field.

There was no sign of Jamie Anderson or Hailey Langland in China, which inevitably meant that the women’s event was Anna Gasser’s to lose. Another cab double underflip, another back 7, another win.

The top three qualifiers held their positions in the final; Enni Rukajarvi took third place with two 720s – a cab 7 sent deep, and a front 7 that only just cleared the knuckle. Miyabi Onitsuka’s combination of cab 9 and back 7 edged her ahead of Enni to take the 2nd place. After landing their first two tricks, both riders went for double corks in a last-ditch attempt to take the gold, but it wasn’t to be.

Meanwhile the sight of two Richtus-grinned, energy-drink-waving teenage girls flanking the riders as they await their score continues to make us wonder if we shouldn’t just ignore all of this.

Air+Style Beijing 2017 Gallery – all photos by Sami Tuoriniemi

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