Toutant and Sharpe double podium in Big Air in Beijing
It was a double podium day for Canadian snowboarders Sebastien Toutant and Darcy Sharpe, who finished second and third in the Big Air event at the Air & Style stop at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.
There were five Canadians qualified for the eight-man final, led by semifinal winner Mark McMorris. Also making it through were Antoine Truchon and Michael Ciccarelli. Each rider had to perform three runs, with their two top scores counting.
Sharpe started the strongest, landing a backside triple cork 1440 and a switch backside double cork 1260 in his first two runs, giving him the lead with 166.6 points. But that would end up being his final score after a fall on his third attempt, a switch backside triple cork 1440.
Conversely, Toutant struggled out of the gate, falling on his opening backside triple cork 1440. But he rebounded with a clean second attempt at that jump before closing with a frontside triple cork 1440, giving him the highest single-scoring run of the final with 92.3 points for an overall total of 176.6 points.
McMorris began with a textbook backside triple cork 1440 followed by a lower-scoring switch backside double cork 1260. He sat in third place after the first two runs with a total of 159.00 points. But that would also be his final score after he fell on his last jump, a switch backside triple cork 1440, which dropped him into fifth place.
The event was won by the youngest man in the field, 17-year-old Norwegian Marcus Kleveland. He had the second and third highest-scoring runs of the final, earning 88.0 points on his first and 89.3 on his clutch third run, a cab triple cork 1620, after he had fallen on his second jump attempt.