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Trip 2160 what?

World Championships Big Air: Recap, Results & Winning Runs

By: Ethan Stone March 04, 2023

Although they ran parallel, the men’s and women’s freeski big air finals at the 2023 Freestyle World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia seemed as if they were held on different planets. While the women battled fresh snow and often sticky conditions on the inrun, the men were blessed with patches of sun, and the soft slush on the landing provided the right conditions for a proper throwdown, complete with a serving of confusion and controversy on the side. It wouldn't be a real big air final any other way!

Women: Tess Ledeux Has No Chill

Right from the start, the women’s contest was all about Tess Ledeux—especially after perhaps her biggest challenger, Mathilde Gremaud, pulled out before right before the contest began. Tess put down the biggest spin of the day, a leftside double cork 1620 cindy (that’s what we’re calling a safety grab that’s at or behind the heelpiece now, folks: safety + tindy = cindy), then looked to deliver her second big trick: the switch left double 1260 safety that had stymied her in the slopestyle contest last week.

She landed backseat, butt down on her first attempt at the dub 12. On her third and final jump, most other competitors might have dialed it back a bit, maybe going for a switch bio 10 or a switch right 900; most of the other women weren’t landing their top tricks either, and these are safey tricks for Tess. But not Tess Ledeux. “All or nothing” Tess sent the switch dub 12 safety a second time, stomping it perfectly and riding away into the sunset with a dominant and tearful victory, a solid 11 points ahead of the competition.

“It’s just a dream come true—I can’t believe it,” Tess said of her win. “I’m so happy to land this trick in competition, it’s the first time for me.”

Second place went to Sandra Eie, who stuck to her guns with a left double 1260 mute and a carved right double 1080 japan, while Megan Oldham took the bronze medal with a flawless left double 1080 mute and a switch left double 900 japan. With a left double 1440 safety that could have been a bit more clean and a right double 1080 safety, Kirsty Muir just missed the podium in fourth.

Gold medal runs | Tess Ledeux | 2023 Bakuriani World Championships Big Air (YouTube)

Men: The worlds-first trick that noone saw

If the women’s contest was a blowout for Tess Ledeux, the men’s contest was a tightly contested throwdown that saw eight different tricks score in the 90s, and a world's-first thrown so cleanly that most people didn't even realize it happened.

American rookie Troy Podmilsak kicked off the action with a switch right double misty 1980 safety (score: 91.25) but was followed immediately by Birk Ruud’s monster switch left triple 1980 mute (94.75). Sebastian Schjerve put down a left double bio 1800 mute for an 86.5, while Christian Nummedal kept it classy with a switch left double cork 1440 double nose grab. To close Run 1, Noah Porter MacLennan stomped a huge left double 1980 stale, and Lukas Müllauer served up a double 1980 of his own, blunt capped. So much for the first run.

While the women battled sticky conditions on Run 2, the men were gifted a patch of sunshine and the throwdown continued. Podmilsak again set the pace, sending a perfect right triple cork 1800 mute to the bottom of the landing. His score initially popped up as a 91.5, but within the next few minutes, was quietly changed to a 96.5—the day’s highest score! The reason why soon became apparent: Troy did not, in fact, do a triple 1800, a trick we've seen from him before, but rather a forward triple cork 2160 mute—a world's first, and sent so smoothly that most of us didn't even notice it!

Gold medal runs | Troy Podmilsak | 2023 World Championships Big Air Bakuriani

Staying in podium contention, Birk Ruud put down a double bio 1800 mute—this is apparently a safety trick for him now. Matej Svancer made good on the nose butter double 1980 japan that he’d crashed on the run previously, scoring a 90. Teal Harle crashed a second time on his signature switch triple cork 14, removing him from contention, while his Team Canada teammate Noah PM stomped a massive triple 1800 mute but had to revert in the landing. Closing out the round, top qualifier Lukas Müllauer looked nearly asleep while landing a switch left 1800 blunt.

Coming into the third and final jump Podmilsak led the field, tailed closely by Birk Ruud and Lukas Müllauer. Matej stomped a switch left 1800 mute, bumping him into third place for the time being. But Luki Müllauer’s whirlwind switch 2160, again with a capped blunt, bumped him back up into second place, and nudged his Austrian teammate back into fourth. Uncharacteristically, Birk Ruud couldn’t stomp a left dub bio 1980 mute, keeping him in third place and giving young American Troy Podmilsak a well-deserved victory lap.

Some love for the rest of the field: Tormod Frostad kept it stylish with a forward dub bio 1440 esco grab that Henrik Harlaut would be proud of. Sebastian Schjerve put down the day’s cleanest grab combo, a switch double 1800 tail to cuban that probably should have been scored a few points higher than the 88.5 that it received. And New Zealand rookie Luca Harrington made a strong showing with a switch dub 1800 tail and a forward dub 1980 stale.

Full Results | Women's Big Air Finals | 2023 World Championships Bakuriani

1. Tess Ledeux (left double cork 1620 cindy, switch left double cork 1260 safety)

2. Sandra Eie (left double cork 1260 mute, right carve double cork 1080 japan)

3. Megan Oldham (left double cork 1080 mute, switch left double cork 900 japan)

4. Kirsty Muir (left double cork 1440 safety, right double cork 1080 safety)

5. Kateryna Kotsar (switch left 900 mute, left 720 tail)

6. Muriel Mohr (switch left 900 tail, left 720 safety)

7. Ruyi Yang (left double 1080 safety, switch left 900 mute)

8. Mathilde Gremaud (did not start)

For complete results including qualifications check out fis-ski.com.

Full Results | men's Big Air Finals | 2023 World Championships Bakuriani

1. Troy Podmilsak (right triple cork 2160 mute, switch right double misty 1980 mute)

2. Lukas Müllauer (left double cork 1980 blunt, switch left double cork 2160 blunt)

3. Birk Ruud (switch left triple cork 1980 mute, left double bio 1800 mute)

4. Matej Svancer (left nose butter double 1980 japan, switch left 1800 mute)

5. Luca Harrington (switch right double 1800 blunt, right double cork 1980 cuban)

6. Sebastian Schjerve (left double bio 1800 mute, switch left double cork 1800 tail to cuban)

7. Christian Nummedal (switch left double cork 1440 double nose, left double cork 1620 japan)

8. Noah Porter MacLennan (left double cork 1980 stale, switch left tripl 1800 mute *revert)

9. Tormod Frostad (right double bio 1440 esco, switch right double bio 1800 double japan *crash)

10. Teal Harle (switch left triple 1440 safety *crash)

For complete results including qualifications check out fis-ski.com.