Snow Sports NZ
Britain’s Mia Brookes, New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Austria’s Anna Gasser celebrate on the podium.
Kiwi snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has won the LAAX Open slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland for the first time.
“I am so stoked, I have been dreaming of winning the LAAX Open since I started competing,” the 21-year-old Olympic champion from Wanaka said after her win on Monday (NZT).
“The weather has been pretty nuts, practice was pretty crazy, so to have the sun come out for finals is super sick.”
After a postponement for a day due to snow and low visibility, the competition resumed on a course running slow due to an overnight dump, with the riders searching for every bit of speed they could find.
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Sadowski-Synnott laced together a solid first run, including a front 450 out of the second rail, which impressed the judges.
She showed her class and experience, making trick decisions mid run to manage the speed, opting for a backside 720 instead of her planned 1080 on the third jump. She came away with a score of 81.30 to be top of the table.
Sadowski-Synnott looked to tidy things up on her second run, but a couple of small mistakes meant she couldn’t improve.
She had an anxious wait to see if her first run score held up against the late final runs of Austrian snowboarding great Anna Gasser and rising British star Mia Brookes.
“Sitting down here was nerve wracking as Mia’s run was so good and even watching Anna go down, it could have gone either way. I am so glad I put down that first run,” Sadowski-Synnott said.
Brookes, 16, took second in the first slopestyle World Cup of her career, with Gasser earning bronze.
Queenstown’s Tiarn Collins contested the men’s slopestyle finals. A wobble meant he didn’t complete his first run. He improved in his second run, but a couple of small mistakes saw him finish 10th in a stacked field.
Sadowski-Synnott will next be in action this weekend at the invite-only Aspen X Games, where she will be defending her big air and slopestyle gold medals.