RACHEL – Ty Walker and Seppe Smits shine in Istanbul FIS Big Air World meet

Ty Walker and SeppeSmits shine in Istanbul FIS Big Air World meetAmerican Ty Walker won the honor of becoming the first ever womenandrsquos Big Air snowboard world champion at the FIS Big Air World Cup in Istanbul on Saturday, with Belgian rider Seppe Smits winning the menandrsquos competition.A total of 10 of the worldandrsquos best female snowboarders and the top 28 menandrsquos riders took part in the event, which was held on campus at Istanbul Technical University (ITu).

A 41-meter ramp was constructed for the competition.The ramp marked another record, as the tallest temporary standalone structure to be built in Turkey.

A record 280 tons of snow were made to dress the ramp for training on Friday, and 70 tons were added for Saturday, enough to make up for the rapid rate at which it melted in the mild Istanbul winter The bright, sunny weather made for a pleasant day for fans.First woman championWalker, who had also come in first in qualification, won the final heat with 156.

5 points with the clean completion of a backside 720 tailgrab and a frontside 720. Each rider in the finals took three runs, but only the best two are counted to their score.

The new womenandrsquos big air world champion is just 17 years old. Coming from Vermont, she also competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Placing after Walker was Switzerlandandrsquos Sina Candrian in second place with 155.75 after landing a frontside 720 indy and a backside 360 double grab.

A frontside 360 indy and backside 720 tailgrab were enough to help the Netherlandsandrsquo Cheryl Maas to third place with a combined score of 154.25.

Maas had first endeared herself to the spectators when it was announced that she was a mother of two, and at the end of her final run she threw her goggles and gloves to the crowd. Walker followed suit when she came down for the last time.

Swiss rider Elena Koenz, Belgiumandrsquos Loranne Smans and Slovenian Urska Probosic took the final three places in the finals. Italian Valentina Barengo, Slovakian Klaudia Medlova and Finn Henna Ikola did not aance past qualification.

Another Dutch athlete, Charlotte Van Gils, did not take part due to an injury she suffered in training.Three-time champIn the menandrsquos competition, after wowing the crowd gathered on the pitch of ITuandrsquos stadium with a cab 1260 double cork indy and a backside 1080 double cork nosegrab, Smits scored 183.

0 points out of a maximum of 200. Swiss rider Jonas Boesiger brought out a frontside 1080 double cork indy and a backside 1260 double cork mute to score 180.

25, while a cab 1260 melon and a backside 1080 double cork nose to tail double grab earned American Brandon Davis 179.5 points to finish third.

A total of 28 men participated in the big air championship in Istanbul. American Ryan Stassel, Finns Petja Piiroinen and Janne Korpi, American Eric Willett, Swede Niklas Mattsson, Czech Petr Horak and Belgian Sebbe De Buck rounded out the list of finalists.

In addition to winning a previous Big Air World Cup in his home country of Belgium in 2012, Seppe was world champion in slopestyle at the World Snowboard Championships in Spain in 2011. At Sochi 2014 he was also the first Belgian snowboarder to compete in the Olympics.

The FIS Snowboard World Cup circuit will continue in January with the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in AustriaAs for Turkey, it is still building itself up to become a serious contender in winter sports. The country has plenty of mountains, but they have remained largely undeveloped until now.

The Turkish Ski Federation has announced grand plans to invest billions in its winter sports infrastructure, and even hopes to bid for hosting the Winter Olympics after getting some more experience under its belt.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman