Freestyle Skiing

Switzerland’s Giulia Tanno wins; Kelly Sildaru third at first FIS Freeski Big Air World Cup of 2021 season in Austria

Norway's Birk Ruud finishes on top in an epic high scoring contest in the men's side in Kreischberg 

By Ed Knowles ·

Switzerland’s Giulia Tanno took the win in the women's FIS Freeski Big Air World Cup in Austria with Birk Ruud of Norway topping the podium in the men's side.

It's the only official World Cup competition that is in the calendar for the curtailed 2021 season due to pandemic related cancellations.

Reigning Big Air Crystal Globe champion, Tanno, needed something in the high 80s on her final run to put the pressure on leader Tess Ledeux of France.

Tanno scored 88 meaning that it was essential Tess Ledeux landed her final trick.

She fell on her 1080 attempt when a less difficult trick may have been enough to secure victory.

Ledeux finished in second place (172.40), with Tanno in first (173.40), and teenager Kelly Sildaru of Estonia (160.60) in third place.

The Youth Olympic Games champion, Sildaru, finished with a switch 900 mute on her last run to secure a place on the podium.

It’s the 18-year-old's sixth World Cup podium finish.

Kelly Sildaru wins freeski slopestyle gold

Estonian freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru clinched slopestyle gold at the Wint...

FIS Freeski Big Air World Cup: A Short Season

The season is heavily curtailed with Kreischberg the only Big Air stop in the calendar so far.

There are some dates in March for slopestyle with one stop in Calgary on 13 March for Half Pipe.

Events in Beijing, China and Copper Mountain in the United States in late 2020 were all cancelled due to the pandemic.

Given how rare competition is at the moment, the win was even more special for Giulia Tanno.

“I cried some happy tears to be honest,” she said on the official broadcast.

FIS Freeski Big Air World Cup: Birk Ruud of Norway wins

The level in the men’s competition was incredibly high.

After the first two rounds, the podium positions were packed with scores in the 90s.

It mean a lot of risk taking for the final attempts.

France’s Antoine Adelisse was challenging for top spot but he fell on his last run to score 189.60

It was still enough for second.

Oliver Magnusson of Sweden didn’t land his last run either but his score of 189.20 was enough for third place.

It all meant that Birk Ruud of Norway, who had landed two 1800s on his first two runs, could relax for his final run. He did a cork zero to style out a classy first placed finish with a score of 193.20.

“To be on top with the level of skiing today, I am very proud of me and the team around,” Ruud said.

The Big Air action in Kreischberg continues with snowboarders like Olympic champion Anna Gasser tackling the ramp on Saturday (9 January).