American Chris Corning and Japanese Reira Iwabuchi just missed the podium in PyeongChang, each finishing fourth in snowboard big air’s Olympic debut. Neither would be denied at a unique contest Friday, a big air competition inside the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park.
Corning, 20, rallied on his last of three runs, overtaking Canadian Nicolas Laframboise with a 95.25-point score on a quad cork.
“It was a bit of disbelief and a lot of anxiety is relieved from this body,” Corning said on NBCSN. “It’s always super scary trying it.”
Corning was the first U.S. man to qualify for PyeongChang in slopestyle and big air but was left off the podium in South Korea when he just missed landing an ambitious quad cork 1800 on his last run in the big air final.
Iwabuchi, 18, landed a double cork backside 1080 and a double underflip 900 on her first two runs on Friday, according to TV commentators. Her last run was a victory lap, the title already clinched.
Friday’s finals lacked PyeongChang Olympic big air champions Sebastien Toutant of Canada and Anna Gasser of Austria, who were not in the fields.
PyeongChang slopestyle gold medalists Jamie Anderson and Red Gerard did compete, but Anderson crashed out in practice before the final and Gerard was eliminated in qualifying.
The big air competition at SunTrust Park concludes Saturday with the ski event, which makes its Olympic debut in Beijing in 2022.
The fields include Olympic ski slopestyle champion Sarah Höfflin of Switzerland two-time Olympic ski slopestyle medalist American Nick Goepper. NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app air live coverage at 7 p.m. ET.
About 900,000 pounds of snow were brought to the ballpark with a 15-story ramp installed. It’s similar to a big air contest at Fenway Park held in 2016.
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