The field at the Toyota Big Air in Sapporo Dome has been cut from 16 down to eight, with Finnish Eero Ettala, American Scotty Lago and Canadian Antoine Truchon currently in the lead.
Defending champion Chas Guldemond (USA) bounced back after a crash landing, having promised before the start on Sunday “to go big”. Also in the final eight is Iceland’s Halldor Helgason, who has given an impressive TBA debut.
Scotty Lago (USA) and Marko Grilc (SLO) were both solid throughout the round with crowd favourite Mark McMorris unstable in his first jumps. Hiroki Matsuura is the only Japanese rider in the final eight, competing for the USD $25,000 prize money for the 1st winner.
Niseko local Toshiki Yamane narrowly missed proceeding to the final rounds, coming in at 9th. Yamane-kun will no doubt be back in Niseko soon & training hard to ensure he makes it through to the finals in next year's competition!
The Quarter Finals will start just after 5pm.
1. Eero Ettala (FIN), Best Point 248
2. Scotty Lago (USA), Best Point 244
3. Antoine Truchon (CAN), Best Point 234
4. Marko Grilc (SLO), Best Point 236
5. Chas Guldemond (USA), Best Point 233
6. Mark McMoris (CAN), Best Point 232
7. Halldor Helgason (ISL), Best Point 230
8. Hiroki Matsuura (JAP), Best Point 225