Monday Mar 09, 2015

US Open Highlights: Kadono's back-to-back 1620s

Japanese rider Yuki Kadono continued his rise to the top of the snowboarding world this week by stomping the first-ever back-to-back Triple Cork 1620s at the Burton US Open – a combination of tricks he said he had never even attempted before.

The 18-year-old won the Air+Style Big Air contest in LA two weeks ago, making history in the process by landing the first-ever Triple Cork 1620, but he went even bigger to claim victory at the US Open in Vail.

With the final hits of his final run Kadono stomped the same trick back-to-back, to beat defending champion Mark McMorris of Canada, grabbing the top spot with a score of 90.5.

McMorris was crowned World Snowboard Tour Pro Series slopestyle champion, thanks to another second place at the Burton European Open, but the 21-year-old will have to watch his back next season with Kadono showing amazing signs of progression throughout this winter.

But he saved his best performance for the season’s last major contest and admitted afterwards he hadn’t even tried the mammoth, record-breaking 1620 combo until finals day.

“I already had that run in mind. The tricks I do in competition, I usually don’t do in practice,” Kadono told Transworld Snowboarding.

“I know there are other riders here who are better than me, but I came into this contest to win, and that’s what I did.

“I’m stoked. All I can say is I’m super happy. I had a great season and in my mind I just had to land this last run so that’s all I had in my mind.”

Japan also celebrated victory in the men’s halfpipe event. Taku Hiraoka saw off competition from Arthur Longo and Ayumu Hirano to claim the biggest win of his career, lifting the Burton US Open trophy for the first time, after finishing second at last year’s event.

History was also made in the women’s halfpipe event as the relentlessly successful American rider Kelly Clark won a record-breaking eighth Burton US Open title – and also wrapped up the World Snowboard Tour Pro Series title.

Her young rival, 14-year-old Chloe Kim, couldn’t match the veteran snowboarder's score of 91, despite landing a frontside 1080 for the first time, while Arielle Gold ended up in third.

Elsewhere in the women’s competition Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson defended her Burton US Open slopestyle title and picked up the Pro Series overall championship with victory in Vail.

The American edged out Anna Gasser in second place with Spencer O’Brien finishing third as she rode to her fifth US Open victory.

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