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Bang Wins Nippon Slopestyle Title; Anderson Maintains Tour Lead; Fight Continues With Nippon Open Halfpipe


ALTS Bandai, Japan – February 29, 2008: Under sunny Japanese skies Mikkel Bang from Norway and Jenny Jones from Great Britain won the Slopestyle competition at the Swatch TTR FIVE(5) STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open. Due to heavy snowfall, the Slopestyle event in ALTS Bandai, Japan was rescheduled and took place today, Friday February 29th, 2008. Many TTR Ranking changes occurred after the Slopestyle, but there is still a chance for big moves and possibly a new Womens Tour Leader after the approaching Halfpipe show down taking place on March 2nd. The women were first to hit the park that consisted of a rail setup up top, a big 50-foot kicker and a big corner at the bottom. Jenny Jones finished 1st in front of US rider Jamie Anderson, who still maintains her hold on Tour Lead with her second place, and Izumi Amaike from Japan who finished third. Earning 850 ranking points and now sitting at TTR World No. 4, Jones moved past 06/07 TTR Tour Champion Torah Bright (AUS) who didn’t make the finals. Swiss rider Sina Candrian finished 9th and now entered the Swatch TTR Top 5 pushing fellow Swiss rider Ursina Haller down to TTR World No. 6.With his Nippon Open title win, Norwegian slopestyle specialist Mikkel Bang now has another 850 ranking points under his belt and moves into a solid position in the TTR Top 10. Antti Autti from Finland sits right behind Bang at TTR World No. 8 with only a 7th place finish today after competing against strong Finnish and Japanese contenders in the 16-man final. The TTR rankings could dramatically change come Sundays Halfpipe battle, and if Autti wins he could move past Bang, who is not competing in the Halfpipe event, placing Autti in a good position for upcoming FIVE(5) and SIX(6)Star TTR events. Bang was throwing down all day with a BS Lipslide on the box, a Switch BS 9 and a huge alley-oop FS 3. Jones proved why shes one of the top female Slopestyle riders with a slick Boardslide into a Cab 5 and ending with a big FS Air on the hip. The local Japanese riders were also killing it in ALTS Bandai, putting up a good fight against the international riders. Local superstar Kazu Kokubo, now in the TTR Top 20, finished 2nd in the Slopestyle with big spins on the kicker and sick inverted tricks on the hip. Jaakko Ruha from Finland finished 3rd in the Slopestyle and entered the Swatch TTR Top 50.Sunday’s FIVE(5)STAR Halfpipe event will give the top female title contenders another chance to collect crucial TTR ranking points. If Anderson makes the final she will be able to stay in TTR World No. 1. Torah Bright could move past Jenny Jones after the Halfpipe competition and the Tour Lead if she beats Kelly Clark and Jamie Anderson places 10th or lower.The battle for Swatch TTR ranking points in the mens field falls upon riders such as Janne Korpi who could move into the TTR Top 10 and Kazu Kokubo who could take a spot in the TTR Top 25. Charles Reid form Canada will also be looking for a spot in the TTR Top 40 as Takaharu Nakai and Fumiyuki Murakami look to increase their ranks in the TTR Top 50. Of course Antti Autti is one to watch out for, as hes sure to bring his signature spins and inverted aerials in hopes to take the Nippon Open Halfpipe Title.Check following the Halfpipe event for updated ranking changes, detailed news reports as well as fresh videos from the Swatch TTR FIVE(5)STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open. Top Ten Results for Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open Slopestyle:Men1. Mikkel Bang NOR2. Kazuhiro Kokubo JPN3. Jaakko Ruha FIN4. Peetu Piiroinen FIN5. Janne Korpi FIN6. Masaharu Nakao JPN7. Antti Autti FIN8. Drew Brighton USA9. Charles Reid CAN10. Mario Kaeppeli SUIWomen1. Jenny Jones GBR2. Jamie Anderson USA3. Izumi Amaike JPN4. Claudia Fliri AUT5. Kelly Clark USA6. Mitsumi Takahashi JPN7. Meri Peltonen FIN8. Ellery Hollingsworth USA9. Sina Candrian SUI10. Yuki Ueno JPN