Zoe Sadowski-Synnott, Nico Porteous complete stunning day for Kiwis at Snowboard World Championships

  • Updated
  • 13/03/2021

Kiwi snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott  has defended her title at the Snowboard World Championships at Aspen's Buttermilk resort.

And hours later, her New Zealand teammate Nico Porteous won the men's freeski halfpipe to complete a golden day for the Kiwis in Aspen.

It was a clutch performance from Olympic bronze medallist Sadowski-Synnott, who jumped from dead last into the top spot on the very last run of the competition.

The pressure was on right from the start with Kiwi coming into today’s competition, not only as the defending champion, but as the top qualifier.

Zoe Sadowski-Synnott, Nico Porteous complete stunning day for Kiwis at Snowboard World Championships
Photo credit: AAP

The last of the eight finalists to drop in to the three rail, three jump course, the 20-year-old struggled to land clean runs on her first two attempts with stumbles on the top rail and first jump.

However, with stomped landings on her switch back 900 and backside 1080, it was clear a podium run was ready and waiting if she could link it all together on the third and final attempt. 

"I knew if I landed my run I had a good chance of taking the top spot,” she said.

It was all up to me, I knew I could do those tricks, I was just trying to get it done so I could defend the title."

Double Olympic gold medallist Jamie Anderson was once again the woman to beat. The second to last rider to drop and sitting in first place on 81.10, the American was tantalisingly close to claiming her first Slopestyle World Championship gold medal, but it was not to be.

Sadowski-Synnott signalled that she was setting up for a high score with a technical rail run at the top of the course before lacing together a stylish switch back 900, frontside 720 and backside double 1080 on the jumps for a score of 85.95.

Australia’s Tess Coady rounded out the podium in third place.

Nico Porteous
Nico Porteous Photo credit: Getty

Meanwhile, Porteous claimed the freeski halfpipe at the same venue he won an X Games gold in January.

The 19-year-old posted the highest score of 94.50 in his first run to finish well ahead of American runner-up Birk Irving.

"I went through a crazy high at the X-Games with the result there then two days later breaking my foot, I kind of went in a low period and was stuck at home for a month and couldn’t do anything," Porteous said.

"My first day of training was my first day back in the pipe and my foot was feeling good, a little sore, but I’m just absolutely stoked."