SEMBOKU, AKITA PREF. – Daichi Hara just missed his first freestyle skiing World Cup podium on Saturday, settling for a career-best fourth in the Tazawako meet’s men’s moguls.
Hara’s previous best finish was a sixth on Jan. 23 in Val St. Come, Quebec.
Hara finished seventh in qualifying, and fourth among the last 16 to book his spot in the six-man second final. In the last go, Hara recorded 82.49 points, just shy of the 83.05 recorded by Australia’s Matt Graham in third.
“I thought I could get another two or three points,” said the 18-year-old Hara. “I don’t understand it.”
Hara breezed through qualifying with his strong turns and speed. Despite his strong start, some small mistakes in the second final cost him as he scored 2.70 fewer points on his turns.
American Bradley Wilson won with 86.14, while Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury was runner-up with 86.09.
Perrine Laffont of France won the women’s moguls, while Miki Ito, in 11th place, was Japan’s top finisher.