• Kyodo


Ayumu Hirano nailed a near-perfect 99-point third run Sunday to win the men’s Winter X Games snowboard superpipe event in Aspen, Colorado.

In his first two runs, Hirano, who will represent Japan at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month, posted scores of 93 and 96.66, respectively, the latter score giving him a lead going into the final run.

In that final run, Hirano stepped up to land back-to-back 1440s — a first according to the Winter X Games official website — and the judges rewarded him with 99 points. The run was enough to edge Australian Scotty James into second by one point while American Ben Ferguson placed third with 95 points.

It was Hirano’s second Winter X Games gold after he became the first Japanese to win a title at the event by claiming superpipe gold in Oslo in 2016.

The 19-year-old Hirano finished second in the snowboard halfpipe World Cup standings this season, between overall winner Yuto Totsuka and third-place man Raibu Katayama.

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