New Zealand snowboarder Christy Prior has won a bronze medal at the Big Air World Cup in Moenchengladbach, Germany, moving her a step closer to her goal of qualifying for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Prior (Kaukapakapa) spent 18 months out of competition due to injury, making her return in August this year for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ.
“It’s good to be back,” said Prior following today’s event.
“I’m happy to step up and get a World Cup done and really stoked with the outcome.”
Above: Miyabi Onitsuka, Carla Somaini and Christy Prior
Watched by a crowd of 16,000, competition took place on a 120-metre long and 49-metre high scaffolding ramp which had been constructed on the hockey field in the German town of Moenchengladbach.
Prior first had to make it through the best-of-two-tricks qualifying rounds with a top-six result to book her spot in finals. She ticked the box with a well-executed frontside rodeo 720 melon grab.
Finals followed a three-run format with the combined total of the best two trick scores determining final placings. Prior was able to execute her plan to first repeat her qualifying trick before shooting for a personal best by landing a double wildcat for the first time in competition.
Carla Somaini (SUI) finished in the gold medal spot with Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) taking home silver. NZ rider Natalie Good (Cambridge) finished in 17th place.
Meanwhile, teammate Carlos Garcia Knight (Christchurch) narrowly missed the podium at the Banana Open snowboard slopestyle event in China, finishing fourth. The event attracted many of the world’s most medalled snowboarders, all eager to gain their share of a USD100,000 prize purse. Top prize went to Canadian Mark McMorris, winner of last week’s World Cup Big Air in Beijing, with Norwegian riders Staale Sandbech and Torgeir Bergrem second and third respectively.
The New Zealand snowboarders will now travel to Copper Mountain resort in Colorado, USA for their next Big Air World Cup from 8-10 December.
Above: Event highlights courtesy of FIS SnowboardingPyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games Christy Prior