. world ski news : Markku Koski (FIN) takes title in big air - 24 January 2009 - 17:19
In the last competition of the 2009 FIS Snowboard World Championships Gangwon, Korea presented by LG, a Finnish rider showed again that Big Air is their domain. In a high class final, Markku Koski grabbed gold with 55.6 points becoming the third Finn to win a WCS title in this event after Risto Mattila (2003) and Antti Autti (2005). Young Belgian rising star Seppe Smits won silver (53.0) ahead of Austrian styler Stefan Gimpl (51.0) who edged off Matevz Petek (SLO, 49.6), Tore Holvik (NOR, 49.1) and Petja Piiroinen (FIN, 48.9) off the podium in this order. Former world champion Mathieu Crepel from France finished seventh.
At the beginning of this winter season, no one would have thought that Markku Koski would end up as Big Air world champion as he wasn't supposed to be in the team for this event at the 2009 World Championships. But after he showed some superb riding in the World Cup event staged in London in October 2008, he secured his spot. However, "I wasn't expecting much as I - at first - was kind of the replacement guy. So, I just tried to stick my tricks. This worked out pretty well. Well, I also got lucky today." But it wasn't just fortune which made Koski the new Big Air world champion. "The icy kicker kind of suited me. I like these kind of conditions" said the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist in the half-pipe after he sticked a Cab 1080 and a Backside Rode 900 to take home the title.
After nine competitions and a total of 27 medals awarded, Austria's athletes go home as the most successful team after winning three out of nine World Championships titles and a total of six medals. 14 countries celebrated at least one medal. Also while this year's event didn't bring out a double World Champion, two riders placed on the podium twice: Doris Guenther (AUT) and Sylvain Dufour (FRA) who won silver in both parallel events, parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom.
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