The top rider to qualify from Thursday’s women’s semifinals, Queralt Castellet dropped last in the first run of the two-run final on Saturday night and simply put down what was one of the best runs of her career, kicking things off with a massively stylish lien air straight into massive back-to-back 900s in the middle of her run (backside then frontside), followed by an air-to-fakie, and a switch backside 540 mute to finish things off.
Putting it all down big, clean, and smooth, Queralt Castellet would be rewarded with a score of 90.00 and top spot heading into run two.
In their second runs, Queralt Castellet’s top competitors both stepped it up a notch, as the Chinese duo of Cai Xuetong and Liu Jiayu upped their run difficulty in an attempt to topple their Spanish competitor. However, while both would improve their scores, neither would be able to best the 30-year-old Spaniard, with Cai finishing in second with a score of 87.25 and Liu just back in third with an 85.75.
And with that, after a third-place finish in 2018 and a second-place result last season, all that was left for Queralt Castellet was to put down a stylish victory lap before finally climbing onto the top step of the podium at the most well-renowned competition in snowboarding.
“It’s a dream for me to win here in Laax,” said an emotional Queralt Castellet, who has adopted Laax as her second home for much of the year, “I’ve got a lot of good memories here, such good energy…it’s my favorite place to ride and my favorite pipe to ride and I’m really, really happy. I’m really stoked. I’m…I’m out of words.”
With her third-place finish, Liu was able to maintain her lead atop the 2019/20 FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup leaderboard, with 2400 points to Castellet’s 2240.