Kokubo places third in World Cup halfpipe event

CARDRONA, New Zealand (Kyodo) Former world silver medalist Kazuhiro Kokubo finished third in the season-opening World Cup halfpipe event on Wednesday.

Kokubo earned 43.2 points on his first of two runs. Olympic champion Shaun White of the United States won with 47.1 on his first run, 2.7 ahead of Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov.

Among other Japanese riders, reigning world champion Ryo Aono was seventh with 37.5.

China’s Liu Jiayu scored 44.1 points to win the women’s event. Rana Okada and Shiho Nakashima finished sixth and seventh, respectively.