Hiroto Ogiwara kicked off the 2023-24 FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup season with his first career World Cup win at Big Air Chur in Switzerland, as Japanese athletes claimed five of the six podium positions across the men’s and women’s contests.
After the freeski finals were cancelled on Friday night due to rain and high winds, Saturday’s nighttime competition conditions could best be described as tricky.
In the men’s contest, Japanese riders dominated to sweep the podium, giving their rivals a timely reminder of why they won the FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe Nations Cup trophy last season.
Leading the way was Ogiwara, who locked down his first World Cup victory with a Switch Backside 1620 Melon on his first hit, which he following up with a Switch Frontside 1620 Weddle on run number two for a score of 171.50 points. Run three was a victory lap and Ogiwara delivered a massive Corked 360.
Kia Kimura claimed second place with a score of 168.00, while last season’s Big Air Chur winner Takeru Otsuka rounded out the podium and the Japanese sweep with a score of 167.50. This was his sixth career World Cup podium finish.
In the women’s contest, Kokomo Murase scored her second World Cup big air win over compatriot Reira Iwabuchi, with British rider Mia Brookes completing the podium.
The FIS Big Air World Cup season continues in Beijing, China from November 30 to December 2.
Header image: Hiroto Ogiwara: Credit Jason Halayko / Red Bull Content Pool