Onitsuka wins slopestyle title at snowboard worlds


Miyabi Onitsuka took gold in the world slopestyle championship, and American snowboarder Ryan Stassel won the men’s event for his first major title on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old Onitsuka was a surprise winner of the women’s gold medal. She won the Japan slopestyle title last year but finished 46th in her sole World Cup appearance at Copper Mountain, Colorado, in November 2013.

Onitsuka failed to reach 55 points in two qualifying runs but scored 92.50 with her second finals effort, beating Anna Gasser of Austria by three points. Klaudia Medlova of Slovakia finished on 84.25 for the bronze medal, while the silver medalist from 2013, Sina Candrian of Switzerland, finished fourth.

Olympic slopestyle champions Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson skipped the worlds in Austria to compete at the X Games in the U.S.

Stassel led the competition after the first two runs, then earned the highest score of 97.50 point for his final effort, beating defending champion Roope Tonteri of Finland, who earned silver with 93.75.

Stassel’s teammate, Kyle Mack, took bronze with 92.75.

Stassel is still chasing his first podium on the World Cup. He finished seventh at the worlds in Canada in 2013, and made his Olympic debut the following year, finishing 14th at Sochi.