Belgian snowboarder Sebbe de Buck competes in Thursday's men's slopestyle qualifier at the 2017 FIS Snowboard World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. (photo: FIS/Oliver Kraus)

Blouin and Smits Win Slopestyle Gold at World Champs

Sierra Nevada, Spain – Canada’s Laurie Blouin and Belgian rider Seppe Smits claimed the first snowboard titles of the Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships at Saturday’s slopestyle finals.

Warm temperatures made it tough for the eight best women and 16 men from Thursday’s qualifiers to land their runs. Both Blouin and Smits finally put it together in their second runs to earn the precious gold in the best-run-counts final.

Blouin scored a 78.00 to snatch her career’s first gold in what might have been the closest slopestyle final finish ,in the recent years with Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL, 77.50) and dethroned champion Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN, 77,40) placing second and third, respectively.

“I’m pretty happy. It’s been just an incredible week here,” said Blouin. “The weather has been on our side. It’s super fun, I’m happy.  I didn’t expect it, you don’t want to be too sure of yourself. But I worked so hard, and that just proofed me that the work that I did was worth it.”

Karly Shorr of Milton, Mich., was the top American female in fourth. After a solid first run, Shorr was looking to up her score with a frontside 720 in the second run, but couldn’t quite land it.

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“I definitely wanted that frontside 720 in the second run,” she said. “I just need to go back and work on it a little more—get that landing down. But I was really stoked with how I rode today and I’m happy with fourth.”

Competing under the watchful eyes of Spain’s King Felipe VI, Smits repeated his 2011 win — also achieved on Spanish soil — with a score of 91.40, relegating Nicolas Huber (SUI; 83.25) and Chris Corning (USA; 82.50) to the respective second and third rank.

Belgian snowboarder Sebbe de Buck competes in Thursday's men's slopestyle qualifier at the 2017 FIS Snowboard World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. (photo: FIS/Oliver Kraus)
Belgian snowboarder Sebbe de Buck competes in Thursday’s men’s slopestyle qualifier at the 2017 FIS Snowboard World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. (photo: FIS/Oliver Kraus)

“It’s crazy. I didn’t expect it,” commented Smits, who fell hard earlier in the day and was sore for the remainder of the competition. “I was trying to put a clean run together. It probably wasn’t the hardest run we have seen today but I managed to bring it down pretty clean after I was struggling a bit in my first run on the first rail. When I got this one in my second one I was like ‘OK. Get it now!'”

“After all my injuries I had to battle through this season, it feels pretty awesome to bring home a medal,” added Corning. “Glad to win some money because it cost a lot of money to come here.”

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
2017 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships
Sierra Nevada, Spain – Mar. 11, 2017

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle

Rank Name Nation Result FIS Points
 1 BLOUIN Laurie CAN  78.00  1000.00
 2 SADOWSKI SYNNOTT Zoi NZL  77.50  800.00
 3 ONITSUKA Miyabi JPN  77.40  600.00
 4 SHORR Karly USA  68.15  500.00
 5 DERUNGS Isabel SUI  66.80  450.00
 6 JENSON Jessika USA  63.00  400.00
 7 VOIGT Brooke CAN  46.15  360.00
 8 FUJIMORI Yuka JPN  32.95  320.00
 9 EILERTSEN Hanne NOR  68.50  290.00
 10 KOENZ Elena SUI  65.75  260.00

Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle

Rank Name Nation Result FIS Points
 1 SMITS Seppe BEL  91.40  1000.00
 2 HUBER Nicolas SUI  83.25  800.00
 3 CORNING Chris USA  82.50  600.00
 4 DE BUCK Sebbe BEL  81.20  500.00
 5 PAUMOLA Ville FIN  77.50  450.00
 6 MATTSSON Niklas SWE  74.85  400.00
 7 GARCIA KNIGHT Carlos NZL  74.40  360.00
 8 COLLINS Tiarn NZL  71.75  320.00
 9 HEDBERG Mans SWE  69.70  290.00
 10 THOMAS Dylan USA  68.60  260.00

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