Canada's Sebastien Toutant wins gold medal in Olympic big air

BOKWANG, Korea, Republic Of — Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant soared to the top of the podium Saturday, landing two solid jumps to win gold in men's big air at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

The 25-year-old from L'Assomption, Que., scored 84.75 points on his first run and 89.50 on his second for a combined 174.25 points. Toutant didn't land his final run, but he didn't need to.

In big air, each rider gets three runs with the points from their top two combined for a total score. Jumps are judged based on difficulty and execution — including amplitude and landing.

Kyle Mack of the United States won silver while Britain's Billy Morgan took bronze.

Max Parrot of Bromont, Que., who won silver in slopestyle last week, finished ninth with 117.75 while Regina's Mark McMorris, the slopestyle bronze medallist, was 10th after struggling to land his first two jumps.

Toutant finished 11th in slopestyle last week.

Parrot and McMorris were considered medal favourites for big air, which was making its Olympic debut. Instead it was Toutant, flying under the radar into Pyeongchang, who beat out his younger teammates.

Toutant hadn't won a World Cup in big air since 2011 in Stoneham, Que. He won silver at a World Cup at Copper Mountain in 2016 and was fourth at both X Games (Aspen and Norway) in 2017.

Toutant finished the 2017-18 World Cup season ranked 10th in the discipline.

Parrot was first in his Olympic qualifying heat earlier in the week with 92.50 points while McMorris placed third in his heat despite a massive 95.75-point run.

Parrot, 23, was in position to knock Toutant from the top of the podium with his final run, but he flubbed his jump.

Toutant's gold was Canada's 11th of these Games, surpassing the 10 first-place finishes from Sochi four years ago. Canadians won 14 gold medals in Vancouver in 2010. 

The gold was also Canada's 500th Olympic medal in all Winter and Summer Games.

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