Winner Su Yiming (C) of China, second-placed Clemens Millauer (L) of Austria and third-placed Mons Roisland of Norway celebrate on the podium during the awarding ceremony of the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Steamboat, Colorado, the United States on Dec. 4, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Yang)
Chinese youth athletes shone at the Big Air World Cup in Steamboat, the United States on Saturday, as both Gu Ailing and Su Yiming claimed World Cup titles in their respective categories.
In the snowboard men’s big air event, Su put down a backside 1800 Indy grab and a frontside 1800 tail grab in his first two runs to score 85.00 and 70.25 points each.
Despite an incomplete third run, a combined score of 155.25 points from two best runs, 15.75 points clear of second-placed Clemens Millauer of Austria, was enough for Su to secure the first World Cup title in his career.
The 17-year-old has also become the first-ever Chinese rider to stand on the podium in either big air or slopestyle, as well as the first rider ever to land 1800s two ways in FIS competitions.
“It feels incredible,” Su said after the match. “I still cannot believe this just happened. I’m really hyped to ride with all the boys, they killed it. I have so much respect for them. They make me want more and more. I’m hyped to ride with them.”
Gu also claimed her first freeski big air World Cup title to complete major international wins in all three freeski events, following her freeski slopestyle and halfpipe World Cup victories in Calgary, Canada in 2020, and slopestyle and halfpipe World Champions in Aspen, USA March this year.
With a left double 1080 safety to Japan grab in her first run, and a right double 1260 safety grab in the second, the 18-year-old has already secured the top spot, making the final run a victory lap.
Instead of a pleasing trick to the audience, Gu stomped a right double cork 1440 to become the first woman ever to land the trick in any freeski competitions and booked a total score of 184.25 combined with her first run.
“I made that decision (to do the double cork 1440) probably after I landed my second run,” said Gu from the finish area. “I felt like I had done the best of my ability for the dub 1260 and I really wanted to push it.”
“The boys were so inspiring out here throwing absolutely insane tricks, so I really wanted to represent the women as well and kind of step it up to the next level.”
Tess Ledeux of France and Johanne Killi of Norway finished second and third respectively.