Canada’s Mark McMorris was the strongest performer in heat one of men's qualification at the FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Beijing ©Getty Images

Canada's Mark McMorris and New Zealand's Tiarn Collins topped their respective men's qualification heats as action began today at the International Ski Federation Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Beijing.

McMorris, who was making his long-awaited return to competition after a career-threatening crash, topped the heat one standings with 83.00 points.

Also making their way to the finals from that section were Austria’s Clemens Millauer with 80.00 points, Sweden’s Torgeir Bergrem with 77.75, Finland’s Aleksi Partanen with 77.50 and Russia’s Nikita Tiuterev with 76.75.

In heat two, Collins was able to take the top spot with 90.00 points.

Japan's Hiroaki Kunitake ranked second with 87.50 points.

Completing the list of qualifiers were Norway’s Emil Andre Ulsletten with 83.25 points, compatriot and reigning snowboard world champion Stale Sandbech with 81.75 and Switzerland’s Carlos Gerber with 80.25.

Austria's Anna Gasser topped the women's qualification standings ©Getty Images
Austria's Anna Gasser topped the women's qualification standings ©Getty Images

In the women's event, Austria’s Anna Gasser was able to live up to the expectations by maintaining the momentum from her win at the season opener in Milan earlier this month.

The 26-year-old registered the high score of 94.75 points, giving her the freedom to sit out the second qualification run and rest her right foot after injuring it in yesterday's training.

In the finals, Gasser will face Japan’s Miyabi Onitsuka, Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi, Slovakia’s Klaudia Medlova, The Netherlands’ Cheryl Maas and Russia’s Sofya Fedorova. 

Onitsuka and Rukajarvi scored 89.25 and 84.00 respectively to complete the top three.

Both the men’s and women’s finals are due to take place in China's capital, the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic host, tomorrow.