2012 Oakley Shaun White Air & Style Podium (L-R): Peetu Piiroinen, Yuki Kadono, Stale Sandbech
16 year old Yuki Kadono (JPN) wins the Oakley Shaun White Air & Style Beijing competition in the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium,
followed by Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) and Ståle Sandbech (NOR).
The youngest winner of Air & Style since Shaun White, Yuki Kadono, received the coveted Air & Style Ring of Glory and 1,000 World Snowboard Tour Ranking points, and was so happy he could hardly believe it. ‘It is like a dream, I still cannot believe it’, was Yuki’s concise summary of today’s events at the press conference.
His winning run scoring 97.67 points was a Backside Triple Cork 1440 Mute Grab in his third run of the Superfinal. Yuki also took home the RedBull Airtime award. It was Ståle Sandbech’s second time in third place, and even though he hoped for more, he was still very happy with his podium result, adding: ‘the Podium is always a nice place to be.’
For second placed Air & Style veteran Peetu Piiroinen, Yuki’s win came as no surprise. ‘Already in summer I knew we would be watching out for Yuki this season. I congratulate him on his win.’
More clear favorites failed to reach the podium tonight. Reigning Big Air World Champion Seppe Smits didn’t make it into round 3, losing his head to head battle with Austrian Mathias Weissenbacher, who surprised by making it into the finals with a steady Backside Double Rodeo 1080 Indy.
Roope Tonteri (FIN) is currently leading the Big Air ranking; dropping in today was all he needed to secure his number one position. Yuki Kadono made it into the top 10 of the Overall ranking with his win today and secured a 16th position on the Big Air ranking. Ståle Sandbech will follow Roope closely, now ranking 2nd on the Big Air list.
The battle for the World Snowboard Tour Big Air Title will have 2 more chapters on the 6Star level, with the O’Neill Evolution from 15-19 of January in Davos, Switzerland following and finally the World Snowboard Tour Big Air crowning taking place at the 20th anniversary of the Billabong Air & Style in Innsbruck-Tirol, the final Big Air event of the season 2012-2013.