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Hirano advances to men’s halfpipe final

Kyodo

Ayumu Hirano set the pace with a sterling first run in the men’s halfpipe on Tuesday to qualify for the final.

The 15-year-old’s run of 92.25 points held up as the best of the first heat and sent him into the final later Tuesday along with the Swiss pair of Christian Haller and David Habluetzel.

Japan’s Ryo Aono, who was ninth at the 2010 Vancouver Games, failed to advance after finishing 19th among 20 snowboarders in the heat.

Two other Japanese men, Ayumu Nedefuji and Taku Hiraoka, were set to compete in the second heat along with two-time defending Olympic champion Shaun White.