Yabuli, China (10 March 2015) – The New Zealand team has made a strong start to competition at the FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships in Yabuli, China. Competing in the qualifying rounds of Snowboard Slopestyle yesterday, Carlos Garcia Knight (Christchurch) qualified second in his heat giving him automatic qualification to today’s finals. JJ Rayward (Nelson) finished fourth in his heat to progress through to semi-finals.
Two heats of 28 male competitors battled through cold, windy conditions and took two runs each to post their highest scores. The top three scorers from each heat progressed straight to the finals rounds while places four-nine could move through to semis.
Starting out strong with his cab 180 on the first rail feature, Garcia Knight put down his top score of 84.00 on his first run. He impressed the judges with his clean solid technique and finished in style with a backside double cork 1080 on the final jump.
Competing in heat two, Rayward also demonstrated style and fluidity in his run, tweaking his grabs for a solid score of 81.00, only just missing the fast track to finals.
Sam Christie (Auckland) looked to be carrying a solid practice session through to his competition run, starting out with a strong rail line but then made a mistake on his cab 900 on the first jump which put him out of contention for semi-finals.
The only Kiwi in the women’s field, Corrah Phillips was unable to find the World Champs form she’d trained for, crashing on her both runs. She will be back in action for the halfpipe on Saturday 14 March.
Competition continues in Yabuli today with Snowboard Slopestyle semi-finals and final. Live scoring is available here
Full results here
Image: Sam Christie throws a 50-50 front 3 melon. Credit: Sean Thompson