Freestylers Boesch, Zimmermann win world slopestyle titles

KREISCHBERG, Austria (AP) Freestyle skier Fabian Boesch became the first men’s world champion from Switzerland by winning the slopestyle title, while Lisa Zimmermann of Germany took the women’s gold on Wednesday.

Boesch, who also got the highest score in Tuesday’s qualification, recovered from a crash in his opening run with a near-perfect second effort. Already secured of the victory, he skied his third and final run carrying the Swiss flag in his left hand.

Boesch gained 92.60 points and edged 2011 bronze medalist Russell Henshaw of Australia by 0.80 for gold. Noah Wallace of the United States won bronze with 82.40.

The 17-year-old Boesch, whose two career World Cup podiums both came in Switzerland, was competing at his second major championship after placing 23rd in the Sochi Olympics.

In the women’s event, Zimmermann scored 85.80 in her second run to beat silver medalist Katie Summerhayes by three points and add to the junior world title she won two years ago. Zuzana Stromkova of Slovakia earned the bronze medal.

”I am super happy,” said Zimmermann, a two-time World Cup winner who lives in Innsbruck and trains with the Austrian team regularly. ”But I know I can do these tricks a little bit better, so I am glad it was good enough. I’ve definitely had better runs.”

Many leading freestyle skiers, including Olympic slopestyle champions Joss Christensen of the United States and Dara Howell of Canada, skipped the worlds in Austria to take part in the invitational X Games in the U.S.

The next medal event of the freestyle worlds is the halfpipe on Thursday.