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Cardrona 2023 FIS Park & Pipe Junior World Championships close with epic day of big air competition

The final event of the Cardrona 2023 FIS Park & Pipe Junior World Championships took to the big air venue on Monday, where near-perfect conditions and one of the best big air jumps in the world allowed the best young freeskiers and snowboarders in the world to put on a explosive showcase, with Italy’s Flora Tabanelli and Leo Landroe of Norway leading the way with freeski gold medal wins, and Momo Maheux and Taiga Hasegawa taking home the top hardware for the snowboarders.

Tabanelli and Landroe a cut above in freeski finals

The Cardrona 2023 slopestyle silver medallist from last week, 15-year-old Tabanelli stepped things up a notch for the big air competition, leading qualifications before locking things down in finals, stomping a switch left bio 900 mute and a left double cork 1080 safety for a two-jump score of 177.50 – becoming Italy’s first snowboard Park & Pipe Junior World Champion in the process.

Behind Tabanelli on the junior women’s side were a pair of Chinese skiers, with Han Linshan and Yang Ruyi claiming the silver and bronze medals, respective.

For Han it was a two jump combo of a left double cork 1080 mute and a switch left 900 mute that would give her a combined score of 168.75 for the silver medal, while her compatriot Yang earned bronze with a score of 160.00 for a switch left 1080 mute and a left corked 900 tail.

Over on the men’s side it was Leo Landroe absolutely blowing the roof off the competition in Cardrona, as the 18-year-old Norwegian was the only rider to clock a score above 90.00 points – which he managed to do with BOTH of his first two runs.

Run one saw Landroe earn a score of 93.25 with a near-perfect switch left triple cork 1620 mute. In run two he took things up a notch, stomping a massive left triple cork 1800 mute for a score of 96.50. Add it all together and you’ve got a score of 189.75 and a dominant Junior World Championships gold medal win.

Second place and the silver medal went to Canada’s Matthew Lepine, as the 15-year-old put down a right double 1620 mute and a crazy stylish switch right double misty 1080 Japan, earning a two-jump score of 176.75 for the podium.

Rounding out the podium for his second medal of the Cardrona 2023 JWCs was Switzerland’s Fadri Rhyner, who added a big air bronze to his slopestyle silver after stomping a switch left double bio 1260 lead tail and a left double 1620 Japan for a score of 163.00.

Maheux rises to the occasion while Hasegawa makes it double golds for the snowboarders

Snowboard big air went down as the final competition of the Cardrona 2023 FIS Park & Pipe Junior World Championships in Monday, where Canada’s Momo Maheux and reigning World Champion Taiga Hasegawa of Japan walked away as the JWC gold medallists after a heavy-hitting – and nerve-wracking – afternoon of competition on the big jump in New Zealand.

With ideal weather and perfectly sculpted big air jump providing the scene of competition. we witnessed a highly-entertaining final event at Cardrona 2023, with the full skill and style of the next generation of snowboarding’s finest on display throughout.

Despite coming into finals as the sixth overall qualifier out of the 12 women in finals, Maheux showed she had the nerve and the quiver of tricks to rise to the top come time for the main event.

After stomping a big switch backside 720 Weddle on her first run, Maheux wasn’t able to put her frontside double cork Indy down clean in run number two. However, with her final run of the 2023 JWCs the 17-year-old stepped up and stomped that trick down, adding a score of 87.25 to her 81.75 from run one for a total of 169.00 and the gold medal.

Second place behind Maheux would go to Seoung Eun Yu, who put down a frontside 720 melon in runs one and frontside double cork 900 Indy on run two (and just barely missed a backside double cork 1080 on run three) for a score of 156.50 and the silver medal.

Rounding out the podium in third place was Japan’s Kiara Morii, who landed a cab 900 stalefish and a frontside 1080 Weddle to earn a score of 150.00 and the bronze medal.

Over on the men’s side of things it was the general consensus that Taiga Hasegawa would be nearly impossible to beat on Monday, as the 17-year-old came into competition as the reigning Bakuriani 2023 World Champion from March, as well as the slopestyle Junior World Champion from last week in Cardrona. And with another gutsy performance, Hasegawa proved that consensus correct.

Haswegawa lead off his finals in Cardrona with a statement trick, putting down a near-perfect cab 1620 frontside grab for a score of 92.00 that had him well in the lead after run one. However, after washing out on the landing of on run two, Haswegawa was left standing at the top of the drop-in for the final run of the afternoon needing a stomp if he was to become a two-time Junior World Champion in 2023.

And that stomp is just what he provided, going the other way with a regular frontside 1620 frontside grab for a score of 92.25, giving him a total of 184.25 and a dominant big air gold.

Second place behind Haswegawa was New Zealand’s own Rocco Jamieson, who also kept his spins flat with a backside 1440 Indy and a frontside 1440 frontside grab, ending up with a score of 162.00 and the silver medal.

Rounding out the men’s podium and claiming the bronze medal was Italy’s Ian Matteoli, who put on a technical clinic with his two jump combo of cab 1440 Weddle to tail grab and frontside  1440 frontside to nose grab, racking up a score of 157.00 for efforts.

And with that, the Cardrona 2023 Junior World Championships were in the books, showing that the next generation is ready to set the world alight and setting the stage for the season to come.

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