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Snowboarders Hiroaki Kunitake and Reira Iwabuchi claim runner-up finishes

Kyodo

Teenage snowboarders Hiroaki Kunitake and Reira Iwabuchi finished second Friday in their respective slopestyle World Cup events in the United States.

The 15-year-old Kunitake scored 83.64 points in his first podium finish since making his world tour debut in September, leaving him between winner Redmond Gerard from the United States and third-place finisher Tiarn Collins from New Zealand. Yuri Okubo finished sixth.

“I’m happy. My goal was to at least make it to the podium,” said Kunitake, who, with Gerard, was one of only two riders to land a triple cork on his run.

In the women’s event, 16-year-old Iwabuchi took second with a score of 76.48 points, narrowly edging out by New Zealand’s Christy Prior. Australian Tess Coady placed third and Asami Hirono was ninth.

After the event in Colorado, Iwabuchi leads the slopestyle world cup standings. Her two podium finishes in four starts leave her with 1300 points, 220 ahead of Prior.

The result is a continuation of Iwabuchi’s impressive season, she adds the second-place to her first world cup event win in December at the penultimate big air event of the season in Copper Mountain.

In the overall standings, Iwabuchi trails only her countrywoman Miyabi Onitsuka who remains atop the list with 2760 points.