Japan’s Hirano steals the show with historic halfpipe ride


Dec 11, 2019 2021; Copper Mountain, Colorado, United States; Ayumu Hirano (JPN) during the snowboard finals of the Toyota US Grand Prix Snowboard / Freeski halfpipe at Copper Mountain Main Vein Superpipe. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

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December 20 (Reuters) – Japanese snowboarders showed why they are slated for the podium at next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics with Yuto Totsuka winning the men’s halfpipe Dew Tour and Ayumu Hirano becoming the first to clinch a frontside triple cork 1440 in competition.

Hirano was fifth but stole the show pulling off the dangerous trick of three head-to-heel flips and a twist while grabbing the board.

“I was very happy to land the triple cork in competition for the first time,” said Hirano. “That’s the game.”

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Totsuka fought off American Taylor Gold and compatriot Ruka Hirano to win with 95.50 in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

American Chloe Kim won the women’s competition with a score of 96.00, beating Spain’s Queralt Castellet and China’s Xuetong Cai.

Kim had fallen to seventh after crashes on her first two runs, but managed to edge Castellet by one point and clinched the win with a near-perfect third run.

“It was so stressful. I hate it when I’m in this situation when it comes to the third and final round,” Kim said.

“Just putting myself in these high stress situations, especially heading into the Olympics, is pretty important. So I’m glad I was able to get through it.”

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Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Rutherford

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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