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Snowboarder Takeuchi triumphs in parallel giant slalom

Kyodo

Tomoka Takeuchi became the first Japanese to win in the parallel giant slalom at the Snowboard World Cup on Friday.

Takeuchi, who celebrated her 29th birthday the same day, is the first Japanese woman to win a World Cup event since Soko Yamaoka won the halfpipe in February 2009. A three-time Winter Olympian, Takeuchi’s previous best finish was second.

“It took a long time to get here,” said Takeuchi, who made her 125th career World Cup start. “Finally, I’ve made it to the top of the podium. This is the best day of my life.”