• Kyodo

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Japan national champion Soko Yamaoka claimed her first-ever World Cup victory after winning the women’s halfpipe on Sunday in the Swiss mountain resort of Laax.

Yamaoka netted 37.7 points on her first run to edge local favorite Manuela Lara Pesko by just 0.2 of a point to become the first Japanese boarder to win a World Cup meet since Yoko Miyake, who won in Whistler last season.

Olympic bronze-medalist Fabienne Reuteler was third. Yamaoka’s compatriot Chiyoko Iwabuchi was 15th.

Switzerland’s Therry Brunner won the men’s halfpipe. Brunner used a near-perfect second run on the 18-foot pipe to beat Germany’s Xaver Hoffmann and Sweden’s Magnus Sterner. Domu Narita was the top Japanese competitor in 23rd place.

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