Silverthorne snowboarder Chris Corning second at Modena, Italy World Cup big air event
On Saturday in Modena, Italy, two of snowboarding’s rising teen stars, Chris Corning and Takeru Otsuka, for the third time in seven months finished one-two at a World Cup big air event.
The 17-year-old Otsuka of Japan edged the 19-year-old Silverthorne local Corning in the final round of the second International Ski Federation World Cup big air event of the season, by the score of 186.75-185.
After he qualified from his first round heat in first-place with a score of 91.50, Corning began the three-jump final round with a flat-spin frontside 1440, with a melon grab, that earned him a 92.50 and the leader’s spot after round one.
Corning went for another massive trick on his second run, a backside triple cork 1440 with a melon grab, where he landed almost at the flat bottom of the man-made Modena big air competition venue’s landing.
The structure of steel and snow weighed in as the biggest ever big air jump built in Italy, at 46-meters tall and 130-meters long.
Corning’s ideal landing on that backside triple cork 1440 earned him another score of 92.50. Combining his first two run scores, Corning’s tally of 185.00 entering the third run of the final round trailed Otsuka. That’s because Otsuka stomped a frontside triple-cork 1440 with a mute grab to earn a score of 96.00 points for a total two-run score of 186.75.
Dropping in as the final competitor of the night on his third run, Corning had one last chance to bump up his 185.00 up to 186.75 or better after Otsuka failed to land his third and final jump. On Corning’s final attempt, last season’s FIS freestyle park & pipe World Cup season champion failed to land his quadruple-cork 1800. It’s a boundary-pushing trick which requires Corning to invert on his vertical axis four times while rotating five full 360-degree horizontal rotations. On the Modena jump, Corning failed to execute the massive move as he ran out of landing space.
The runner-up finish for Corning followed his win at September’s season-opening World Cup big air event in Cardrona, New Zealand, where Corning landed the quad-cork 1800 for the first time in competition to best Otsuka, who finished in third place. And at last May’s X Games Norway, Otsuka also bested Corning, who took second place behind the surprise Japanese champion.
Summit County local snowboarders and 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic medalists Red Gerard and Kyle Mack did not compete on Saturday.
On the women’s side, the Japanese pair of Reira Iwabuchi and Miyabi Onitsuka finished one-two, followed by PyeongChang big air gold medalist Anna Gasser of Austria.
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