Narita, Huckaby ride momentum into Big White 2017

Gurimu Narita, Brenna Huckaby go two-for-two in the last competition before 2017 World Championships in Big White. 28 Jan 2017
Nicole Roundy

American Nicole Roundy is excited about being amongst the first boarders to compete in para-snowboard cross as a Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

ⒸGetty/Hannah Johnston

Japan’s Gurimu Narita, along with the USA’s Mike Minor and Brenna Huckaby will head to next month’s World Para Snowboard Championships full of confidence after going unbeaten at the latest World Cup, which concluded on Friday (27 January) in Lake Tahoe, California, USA.

The two-day competition featured snowboard-cross events, and saw 22-year-old Narita emerge as the unexpected victor in the men’s SB-LL2. On Friday, he defeated the USA’s Keith Gabel in the final showdown to follow-up on his win from Thursday. The USA’s Worlds silver medallist Evan Strong took third place.

Narita’s victories – including a NorAm Cup win on Wednesday (25 January) – were his first ever in the World Para Snowboard scene and set up an interesting preview for the fast-approaching 2017 World Championships, to be held 1-8 February in Big White, Canada.

The men’s SB-UL however threw up no surprises, with overall World Cup leader Minor completing a perfect showing in Lake Tahoe after beating Great Britain’s James Barnes-Miller. Canada’s Andrew Genge completed the podium.

Minor’s compatriots Huckaby and Nicole Roundy faced off in the women’s SB-LL1 final. It was Huckaby, the overall World Cup leader and reigning world champion, who defeated the Worlds bronze medallist for the second straight day. Megan Harmon completed the US sweep.

Mark Mann also went two-for-two at the World Cup in Lake Tahoe after beating US teammate Tyler Burdick to the finish; Mann continues to chase Dutch overall World Cup leader Chris Vos in the rankings. Japan’s Daichi Oguri came in third.

Australia’s Joany Badenhorst finished ahead of the USA’s Brittani Coury in the women’s SB-LL2, and the USA’s Peggy Martin completed the women’s SB-UL.

Complete results from the World Cup in Lake Tahoe can be found on World Para Snowboard’s website.

This was the last competition before the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships in Big White, Canada, where around 80 athletes from 25 countries compete from 1-8 February.