The fourth-place finisher at each of the past two Laax Open FIS Snowboard World Cup slopestyle competitions, Julia Marino had stated that she just wanted to find her way onto the podium at this go-around. However, on Friday she did all that and more, putting down a standout first run that included a near-perfect rail line to start things off, and a slick frontside 900 into a cab double underflip during the middle two hits of her jump line for a score of 81.30 that would hold up as the winner.
“I feel like I’ve been getting a fourth-place here since I can remember coming here,” a relieved Julia Marino said, smiling before the awards ceremony, “It’s been such a pristine week, the course has been awesome, and I felt like I really had to take advantage of that fact. I’ve never had so much fun on a slopestyle course. I never felt too stressed and just had a really fun time all week.
“Even before I saw Reira’s run I was really happy just knowing I would be on the podium. I was really just stoked for all the ladies. Everyone did so awesomely this week. It was an amazing final to be a part of and to watch for both the guys and the girls.”
The “Reira” that Julia Marino mentioned was none other than the top qualifier Reira Iwabuchi of Japan, who as the top qualifier had the final run of the women’s competition. And though the 18-year-old dropped an incredible backside double cork 1080 in competition for the first time in her slopestyle career, she would still fall just short in her attempt to claim her first slopestyle World Cup victory, with a score of 76.95 and second place her result.
Third place with a score of 64.20 went to Katie Ormerod of Great Britain, as the 22-year-old’s comeback campaign after missing all of last season due to injury continues to be a huge success, with Friday’s Laax podium her second of the season after a runner-up finish at the season-opening big air World Cup Cardrona (NZL) back in August.
Julia Marino - frontside boardslide 270 off, frontside tailslide 270 off, crippler, cab double underflip mute, frontside 720 mute
Reira Iwabuchi - frontside boardslide 270 off, 50/50 backside 180 stale off, cab 360 mute, switch backside 540, backside 1080 mute, frontside 720 mute
Katie Ormerod - boardslide 270 off, backside noseslide pretzel 270 off, cab 540 mute, frontside 360, backside 720 mute, double backflip