Snowboard

Snowboarder Jamie Anderson takes slopestyle win at Laax Open in Switzerland

The double Olympic champion rider from USA put down two massive runs to come out top in a conservative competition where placing took precedence over big risks

By Ed Knowles ·

Double Olympic champion snowboarder Jamie Anderson took the win in the slopestyle competition at the Laax Open in Switzerland.

With Olympic qualification still unclear, this event has taken on even more importance. It meant that in the second run, most riders wanted to post conservative scores to guarantee a top five place rather than go for the win.

Not Anderson.

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She landed a cab 900 in a fantastic second run to secure the win.

It’s a huge step towards Olympic qualification with few events expected before Beijing 2022.

“This is super important,” Jamie Anderson said on the host broadcast.

“I am only doing a couple of events [this year] - maybe this and X games. I am so proud of myself riding with all these youngsters."

Zoi Sadowski Synnot of New Zealand came in second place with Japan’s Murase Kokomo in third. Austria’s big air Olympic champion Anna Gasser came fifth.

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Sweden’s Nik Mattsson won the men’s with three-time X-Games champion Marcus Kleveland in third.

Germany’s Leon Vockensperger managed to place second.

“It was so much fun to ride this course… I really enjoyed. The other guys killed it [too],” Vockensperger said.

Coronavirus precautions

The men’s competition was missing some of the most recognisable names in the sport.

Canadians Mark McMorris, Max Parrot, Sebastien Toutant, Liam Brearley and Cameron Spalding were listed as ‘did not start’ after, according to Canadian Press, ‘two members of its delegation tested positive for COVID-19’.

Laurie Blouin, Brooke Voigt, Jasmine Baird, and Sommer Gendron from Canada were missing from the women’s competition.

U.S. athletes Kyle Mack and Lyon Farrell also tested positive for COVID-19 – meaning they couldn’t compete either.

Seven athletes traced to Mack and Farrell couldn't travel to Laax due to a mandatory quarantine in Austria where the team was based - including reigning Laax Open women’s slopestyle champion Julia Marino.

The Laax Open continues on Saturday (23 January) with Olympic champion half-pipe rider Chloe Kim is expected to compete.

“I feel a little nervous, but at the same time, I am feeling really confident. I want to do my best and have fun,” she said on the USA ski and snowboard team website.