http://mpora.com/videos/conMQkRLH The main event might not take place until Saturday night, but things are already hotting up at the first Oakley and Shaun White sponsored Air and Style snowboard contest in Beijing, China (a.k.a. the TTR Flying Circus!)
The draw for the knock-out format big air comp has been made, and is looking like this:
1 - Marco Grilc vs. Mikkel Bang
2 – Peetu Piroiinen vs. Haldor Helgasson
3 – Andreas Wiig vs. Scotty Lago
4 – Werner Stock vs. Stale Sandbech
5 – Elias Elhardt vs. Kazuhiro Kokubo
6 – Markus Malin vs. Seb Toutant
7 – Gjermund Braaten vs. Seppe Smits
8 – Janne Korpi vs. Eric Willett
With so many big hitter involved it's too tough to call, but looks like Shaun White won't be winning his own event eh? Here's the official word on the ground from the TTR:
The Riders Draw took place on Thursday evening after riders returned from the stadium. All the Air & Style events feature a unique head-to-head elimination tournament-style format. So, after training, the riders were brought together to choose names out of a hat to see who will go head-to-head in the first round of competition on Saturday. Each rider will have three runs and the rider with the best score moves on to the next round, while the rider who loses is knocked out of competition.
Current Swatch TTR Tour leader Gjermund Braaten (NOR) explains, "You gotta be on it from the start and you gotta throw down your best trick from the start to make it." He was paired with Seppe Smits (BEL) who was excited about the match up saying, "I'm up against Gjermund for the first run, It's gonna be a tough match, but I'm looking forward to riding and trying out the jump tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. "
Austrian Werni Stock was paired with a Norwegian youngun, "I got Stale Sandbech, one of the rookies. He moved in for iouri and is a super tough rider, super young and super motivated. I saw some serious tricks from him like Cab 12 and back 10 doubles. I'm gonna give it my best, wish me luck, I really need it. It's gonna be fun. " Stale was equally nervous about his opponent saying, "Werni Stock picked me. It's gonna be hard! It's gonna be really hard! It's a tough contest going head-to-head, and all the riders are really good. It's gonna be a tough challenge for sure."
Andreas Wiig (NOR) comments on his opponent, "I got scotty Lago. He was the only one who hit the jump today so I'm shaking in my pants right now."
The riders will have one more day of training tomorrow (Friday) before the action kicks of in front of 15,000 fans on Saturday 4th December 2010. Check out the list below for the full head-to-head list for the first round of competition on Saturday.