Freestyle skier Édouard Therriault shone on Saturday at the Beijing World Cup, where he obtained his first medal of the season. His collection of 181.75 points in the final of the high jump event allowed him to climb to the second step of the podium.
Only the American Alexander Hall (182.00) managed to do better than the Quebecer during this competition presented on the same site which hosted the event at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2022. The Swiss Andri Ragettli (179.00) 75) completed the podium.
Third in the qualifying session presented 48 hours earlier, Therriault succeeded in all three attempts in the final. The world vice-champion of the event in 2021 also wowed with his last two jumps which earned him scores of 90.50 and 91.25. Then, at the same time, the second podium of his career in the World Cup.
He won bronze in the acrobatic downhill in Font Romeu in January 2022.
Note that his compatriots Alexander Henderson and Bruce Oldham were unable to reach the final, where the ten best athletes in qualifying met on Saturday.
Also in action on the Beijing side, Laurie Blouin also participated in a high jump final on Saturday, finishing in fifth place in the women’s snowboarding event with 151.75 points.
Victim of a fall while landing on her first jump, the snowboarder from Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury had a lot to do if she wanted to move up the rankings with her two final jumps. She responded well, obtaining scores of 71.50 and 80.25 to finish in fifth place in the event.
“I’m really happy to have landed my two jumps under pressure,” Blouin confided by videoconference after this competition won by the Austrian Anne Gasser (174.00).
Although she wanted to play it safe, particularly due to the snow conditions, the 27-year-old athlete said she was satisfied with her performance overall, and more particularly with having successfully completed her Cab 1080 on her second attempt at day.
“It wasn’t super clean, but I was happy to land it. It’s a jump I make often, but it’s been giving me a hard time lately. […] Maybe I wanted to try a new jump, but I didn’t have time to practice it before I got here [in China]. We had icy conditions, so I wanted to go a little safer,” she summarized.
Also present in Beijing this weekend, Nicolas Laframboise had to settle for 21st place during qualifying and was unable to qualify for the men’s final.
Blouin and Laframboise will return to the country in the coming days in preparation for their planned outing in Edmonton next weekend as part of another high jump event.
Quebec will also be well represented for the occasion. Francis Jobin will be there, as will Jacob Legault, 19, and Éli Bouchard, 15, who are both part of the Canadian Next Generation Snowboarding Team.
“I’m used to being the youngest, but now I’m the oldest! » said Blouin, laughing about the succession within the national team.
Beyond her role as a veteran alongside her young teammates, Blouin will want to take advantage of the Edmonton stage to continue building on her start to the season with the big jump, in addition to setting the table for the outings to come in January in acrobatic descent.
“I can’t wait to do slopestyle! I might want to try some new Big Air maneuvers that I’d like to bring to slopestyle, but we’ll see how that goes. […] My goal is always to make podiums and to be proud of what I do. In a judged sport, it’s difficult to be satisfied and people are often harsh on us. So I want to be proud of my performances first and foremost,” she concluded.