SAPPORO – Ryo Aono, who has already secured his third overall World Cup halfpipe title, won his second event of the season on Sunday.
The 25-year-old scored 94.25 points for his 12th career win, a week after winning the championship for the first time in seven years. Aono’s Japanese compatriot Raibu Katayama was third with 92.00, behind runnerup Markus Malin of Finland at 93.75.
Aono, who missed a chunk of last season after an operation on his dislocation-prone left shoulder a year before, nailed his frontside 1440 early in his third and final run and remained solid to top the standings.
“It was tough to hear other people’s results (last season),” said Aono. “It feels great and I’m going to bask in satisfaction today. I attacked and the win is the result of that.”
Sochi Olympics silver medalist Ayumu Hirano was fifth on 87.75. Taku Hiraoka, the bronze medalist in Sochi, was eighth with 80.00.