SNOWBOARD: Tess Coady is a dual Junior World Champion after she won the snowboard slopestyle and snowboard big air events in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic on the weekend.
16-year-old Coady, who made her World Cup and Senior World Championships debuts earlier in the year, said the Junior World titles are the perfect ending to her breakthrough season.
“It feels so great,” Coady said after her dual victory.
“My season was already really great but becoming the Junior World Champion was just icing on the cake!”
Coady placed sixth at the Spindleruv Mlyn World Cup a week earlier and said the Czech Republic slopestyle course varied to the usual “three jumps and three rails” style, but she could use her World Cup experience and extra training runs to adapt to the “really creative and playful course.”
“In the slopestyle I had had a really good practice and landed my run a few times,” Coady said.
“The first run I landed it but not everything was super clean and I was in second place.
“Going into the third run I was dropping in last and I was sitting in third place then and I landed a much cleaner run which payed off!”
Coady scored 94.25 in her third and final run to secure the crown. Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi won silver with 87.50 and Elli Pikkujamsa of Finland rounded out the podium with a score of 84.00.
If one junior world title wasn’t enough, Coady backed up her slopestyle performance the very next day with gold in the snowboard big air event with a score of 167.25.
“After the slopestyle I was super stoked but I had to keep it together for the big air,” she said.
“I basically tried not to think about slopestyle for the day and just focus on what was ahead of me.
“In the big air I also had a really good practice and because there were three runs Nacho [Coady’s coach] and I thought it would be really good to land two clean runs first and then just play with the third which I managed to do. Unfortunately I didn't land my third run but it was all good.”
The podium was a repeat from the slopestyle competition with Iwabuchi and Pukkujamsa in second and third just like the day before.
After placing sixth in both World Cup appearances this season, the boarder from St Kilda, Victoria finished in 21st position overall on the FIS Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup rankings in March, just in front of fellow Aussie Jess Rich in 22nd place.
She also joined a group of elite Australian winter athletes in Spain for the Sierra Nevada World Championships, where she placed 11th in the slopestyle and 21st in big air.
So what‘s next for this young athlete taking the snowboarding world by storm?
“I will be heading back to Mammoth [California] to do some spring riding, then back home to squeeze a bit of school in, then ride the Australian season and I still have some planning to do on how the rest of the year will go.”