Finnish riders Enni Rukajarvi and Petja Piiroinen took out the women’s and men’s Junior World Champion titles in today’s snowboard big air at Cardrona ski resort during the final day of the 2010 FIS Snowboard & Freestyle Junior World Championships.
Despite the intimidating size of the big air jump, the girls showed no fear with many choosing the massive 60 foot table over the smaller 50 foot option. Rukajarvi got the top score of 26.0 with a huge backside 540 indy grab off the big kicker. Urska Pribosic (SLO) took silver and Klaudia Medlova bronze.
“It was very exciting to ride such a good jump, even though the weather didn’t allow us much practice time,” said Rukajarvi. “I’m so happy to have won!”
The big air win marked Rukajarvi’s second win during the Junior Worlds as she also earned top slopestyle honors.
Men’s winner Piiroinen took out the title for the second year with a backside 1080 double cork and a score of 27.3. He was a clear 1.5 points ahead of Belgian Seppe Smits and Ville Paumola, also of Finland took bronze.
“It’s so nice to win for a second time,” said Piiroinen. “The other guys were all riding really strongly so it’s great to be world champion.”
Photo right: Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi grabs her way to another crown – Credit: Bel Jones
Juliane Bray, Championships Patron and New Zealand Olympic snowboarder said the level of riding was outstanding.
“All the riders really wanted to hit the jump because it was a fantastic jump with great set up,” she said. “In between the clouds the riders who wanted it the most put on an amazing show with at least five of the riders doing double cork tricks, the most progressive trick currently in snowboarding. The women’s big air was a massive challenge as they were so young and the jump was so big – I’ve got big respect for all them.”
At the end of the closing ceremony, Russia was announced as the recipients of the Marc Hodler trophy for the most successful snowboard nation at the championships.