(LAAX – January 15, 2020) – Europe’s finest Snowboard event, the LAAX OPEN 2020 is in full swing since Monday. Today the Slopestyle course up on Crap Sogn Gion was the place to be with semi-finals going down. Reira Iwabuchi from Japan and Slopestyle Olympic Champion Red Gerard qualified first for Friday’s finals.
The course presented itself today in all its beauty under blue skies and warm temperatures. The ladies were up first in the morning. The 12 semi-finalists had two runs each with the better one counting to secure one of the six spots for the finals. Reira Iwabuchi, who already won the qualification round on Monday, again dominated the ladies field and will go into the finals with a lot of confidence. The US ladies Hailey Langland – 2nd at the X-Games Slopestyle 2019 – and Julia Marino qualified in 2nd and 3rd place are definitely favorites for the podium on Friday. Surprise of the day was up and coming German rider Annika Morgan in 4th place, who actually wowed everyone last season already making it into the Burton US Open finals. Olympic Silver medalist Laurie Blouin from Canada and UK’s Katie Ormerod managed to snatch the last spots for the finals.
Then it was time for the Men’s semi-finals with 24 riders. 12 of them made the cut for the finals. A very successful day for the US riders with 7 of them qualifying for the finals. The winner Red Gerard threw down an incredible run and got the highest score from the judges today. His teammate Justus Henkes got 2nd. Big Air Olympic Gold medalist Seb Toutant from Canada ended up on 3rd rank. LAAX regular Staale Sandbech qualified in 4th as best European rider. At the 2019 LAAX OPEN he got 2nd, surely he wants to stand on top of the podium on Friday. Also fellow Scandinavians Sven Thorgren/SWE (5th rank), Fridtjof Tischendorf/NOR (6th rank) and Mons Roisland/NOR (12th rank) will battle for a podium spot.