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Japan Beckons Riders for 5-Star Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open

The Swatch TTR 5-Star Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open is set to rock Japan from February 26th to March 2nd 2008 at the Alts Bandai resort in Fukushima. Some of the world’s best snowboarders including Shaun White, Antti Autti, Jamie Anderson and Torah Bright will be making the long trip to compete in Halfpipe and Slopestyle formats for two batches of 850 TTR Ranking points and over $125,000 in prize money.

While the TTR points distribution may not be as high as a 6-Star event, the Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open still provides riders with a much needed boost. The Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour will see the next ranking update after the Slopestyle competition which is immediately followed by a Superpipe show down the following day.

The women’s field will see the most change in Japan as the current TTR top four female riders fight with slopestyle skills to become the new TTR World No.1, even if just for a day. Current tour leader Jamie Anderson (USA), Kelly Clark (USA) who finished 2nd in last year’s Nippon Open Slopestyle, 06/07 TTR Tour Champion Torah Bright (AUS) and 6-Star Burton European Open Slopestyle No.2 Jenny Jones (GBR) all have opportunities to take tour lead following the slopestyle battle. This will set things up for an enthralling Superpipe competition as the women once again compete for vital ranking points in the chase to be tour champ.

There are plenty of other female riders who will be looking to move up in the TTR rankings. Swiss rider Sina Candrian could move up into the TTR Top 5, and Claudia Fliri (AUT) who finished 3rd in the Slopestyle at the recent 6-Star Roxy Chicken Jam in Kaprun, will be seeking out a spot in the TTR Top 10.

The men’s field will see lots of movers and shakers in the lower rankings. TTR World No.15 Antti Autti from Finland, and TTR World No.18 Mikkel Bang form Norway will both be after Swatch TTR World No.7 at the Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open Slopestyle. All heads will be turned towards US rider and 06/07 Tour Champion Shaun White who, along with Takaharu Nakai from Japan, will be after TTR World No.33. Fumiyuki Murakami, also from Japan, will be competing for a spot in the TTR Top 50 while Janne Korpi (FIN), who finished 5th in the Slopestyle of last year’s Nippon Open, eyes a spot in the TTR Top 15.

Current TTR World No.3 Peetu Piiroinen (Fin) will maintain his current tour position after the Slopestyle. But things will come down to the 5-Star Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open Superpipe throw down where we could see some bigger changes in the rankings.

The Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open is sure to be an event of mega proportions as many of the best TTR riders clash and compete for Japanese glory and inch one step closer to the $250,000 end-of–season Swatch TTR Tour Prize purse. The Nippon Open is one of Japan’s most popular snowboarding events, drawing over 40,000 spectators from around the world. International viewers however, can catch live webcasts of the semi-finals and finals at go211. Stay tuned to the TTR website for more updates.

Seeded Riders For Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open:

Men:
Antti Autti SS/HP FIN
Atsushi Ishikawa SS JPN
Charles Reid SS/HP CAN
Daisuke Murakami HP JPN
Dome Narita HP JPN
Fumiyuki Murakami SP JPN
Janne Korpi SS/HP FIN
Kazuhiro Kokubo SS/HP JPN
Kazuumi Fuijita HP JPN
Keiji Okamoto SP JPN
Keir Dillon HP USA
Keito Kumazaki HP JPN
Kiichiro Kazumi SS JPN
Kodai Watanabe HP JPN
Kohei Kudo HP JPN
Masaaki Hagiwara SS JPN
Mikkel Bang SS NOR
Mutsuo Yamaguchi SS JPN
Nick Hyne SS NZE
Peetu Piiroinen SS FIN
Rikuya Narita HP JPN
Ryo Aono HP JPN
Ryuta Saito HP JPN
Shaun White SS/HP USA
Shota Suzuki SS JPN
Tadashi Fuse SS JPN
Takaharu Nakai SS/HP JPN
Takahiro Ishihara HP JPN
Takayuki Nishizawa HP JPN
Teddy Koo SS JPN
Tomoyoa Fujina HP JPN

Women:
Akiko Miwa HP JPN
Clair Bidez HP USA
Claudia Fliri SS AUT
Emily Thomas SS AUS
Gretchen Bleiler SS/HP USA
Hannah Teter HP USA
Izumi Amaike SS JPN
Jamie Anderson SS/HP USA
Jenny Jones SS GBR
Kelly Clark SS/HP USA
Manuela Laura Pesko HP SUI
Masako Takehashi HP JPN
Elena Hight HP USA
Tina Ramholt SP SUI
Shiho Nakashima HP JPN
Sina Candrian SS/HP SUI
Soko Yamaoka HP JPN
Tania Detomas SS ITA
Torah Bright SS/HP AUS
Yayoi Tamura HP JPN

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