High-level riding in the Big Air finals of the 7th FIS Snowboard World Championships in Arosa,Switzerland: Mathieu Crepel is the new Big Air World Champion. The 22 years-old snowboarderfrom France successfully competed against 2005 title holder Antti Autti (FIN) in an enthralling final.Before 5.500 spectators, Janne Korpi took the third rank (FIN) in the small final against his fellowcountryman Sami Saarenpaa.

The duel for Gold could not have been closer. After Crepel had taken the lead after the first jump witha score of 27.9 points, Autti countered in the second run with a “Frontside 1260 and took over thelead with 28.1 points. But the Finn had to watch the French rider performing a “Switch Backside1260 and thus earning 29.4 points — the highest score so far in the new K.o.-format — for taking homethe Gold medal.

Thus, Mathieu Crepel was all smiles after the contest: “It’s an amazing feeling to win the WorldChampionships title in such a high class final. I landed my last trick for the first time ever in a contest.It’s unbelievable that I did it in such a big contest like the World Championships.

Antti Autti was also pleased with Silver after he was beaten close in the battle for the title: “I’mfeeling great to have Silver, especially because this was the first day I was riding without any painkillers after I hurt my leg at a photo shooting a few weeks ago. The big final was fantastic. It’sabsolutely crazy to see what is possible if you train a lot. Two years ago, I won the WorldChampionships with a “Frontside 900 and a “Cab 900 and today we had such a high level riding.