The men's podium for the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Kreischberg ©FIS

Max Parrot of Canada and Zoi Sadowski Synnott of New Zealand recorded narrow wins to claim the men’s and women’s International Ski Federation (FIS) Snowboard World Cup Big Air titles in Kreischberg in Austria.

Conditions were ideal for the third World Cup of the season with blue skies for the men’s qualifying during the morning, with the two heats being topped by Parrot and Mons Roisland of Norway.

The good snow conditions continued under clear skies for the night finals for both the men and women.

In the men’s competition it was an emotional win for Parrot at the first Snowboard World Cup event for ten months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, where he claimed a silver medal in the discipline, Parrot was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer.

After chemotherapy and rehabilitation Parrot is back competing at the highest level, and today he scored a total of 165.00 points across his three runs.

He regrouped impressively to score 84.8 points on his final run after pulling out of his second attempt.

Sweden’s Sven Thorgren claimed silver with a total of 164.00 points. Thorgren took the lead after run one with a score of 85.80 but crashed during his second attempt and was overtaken by Parrot.

The women's podium for the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Kreischberg ©FIS
The women's podium for the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Kreischberg ©FIS

The bronze medal went to Roisland who continued his good form from qualifying to score 163.20 points in the final.

It was a disappointing day for two of the favourites heading into the men’s event - American two-time Big Air crystal globe winner Chris Corning placed 16th with 140.40 points while Canada's Sebastian Toutant, the Pyeongchang 2018 Big Air gold medallist placed 15th with 140.60 points – with neither man reaching the final.

In the women’s event Sadowski Synnott, the 19-year-old New Zealander who claimed bronze at Pyeongchang 2018 took her maiden World Cup title after recording a score of 162.40 points, recovering from a crash during her first run.

Silver went to Kokomo Murase of Japan with 161.80, as she finished 0.60 behind Sadowski Synnott.

After an impressive opening run, Marase crashed on run two but put in a solid score in her final attempt, although it was not quite enough to overhaul Sadowski Synnott.

Reigning Olympic Big Air champion Anna Gasser took bronze on home snow with a score of 161.40, despite crashing on her final run.

Miyabi Onitsuka, the 2015 Big Air world champion, who qualified fastest for the final two days ago, finished in fifth place.