Brookes and Kimura frontrunners for big air globes at Copper

by Chandler
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With both big air third-overall ranked Anna Gasser (AUT) and last weekend’s Style Experience winner Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL) dropping out of this week’s competition at Copper, it’s going to be all eyes on Brookes and Iwabuchi, as the 16-year-old Brookes looks to become the youngest-ever big air crystal globe winner by holding off Iwabuchi, who’s on the hunt for her second-consecutive and fourth total big air trophy.

Also still mathematically in the hunt for the women and on hand here in Copper are Miyabi Onitsuka and Mari Fukada, both also of Japan. However, with the way Brookes and Iwabuchi have been riding so far this season the likelihood of anyone else catching one or both of them is slim indeed.

Not in the crystal globe hunt but on the Copper start list and capable of disrupting the narrative this week are a few other big names, with the USA’s own Julia Marino and Hailey Langland, and Kokomo Murase of Japan tops amongst them. Both Marino and Murase will be dropping in on their first World Cups of the season this week, while Langland will be looking for a repeat, or better, of last season’s Copper performance, where she came second.

KIMURA AND SU LOCKED IN TIGHT MEN’S GLOBE BATTLE

Over on the men’s side of things, while we saw Kimura miss the podium for the first time in his World Cup career last week in Edmonton, he did still manage to finish fourth behind a podium that saw two Olympic gold medallists and the reigning big air World Champion standing on it.

Which is to say, there’s no shame in a fourth place finish there.

World Champ Taiga Hasegawa took the win in Edmonton, besting Beijing 2022 Olympic gold medallist and this year’s Beijing big air World Cup winner Su Yiming and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic slopestyle gold medallist Red Gerard, who finished third to earn his first World Cup big air podium in over four years.

While Gerard made a big leap up the standings with his podium in Edmonton, almost any way you slice it it’s looking like an all-Asia finish in the big air top-3 rankings on the men’s side, with Ryoma Kimata and Hiroto Ogiwara also within striking distance of Kimura, Su and Hasegawa should a number of factors go their respective ways.

In fact, it’s only Nic Laframboise of Canada as the lone non-Asian rider still holding a mathematical chance of landing somewhere on the 2023/24 big air World Cup overall top-3 by the end of competition this week, and that’s a long shot at best.

This post was originally published on this site

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