ATLANTA – Snowboarder Reira Iwabuchi clinched the big air crystal globe for the second straight year after winning the two-day World Cup season finale in the Big Air event on Friday.
Iwabuchi, who turned 18 last week, scored 170.50 over her first two runs to finish 11.00 points ahead of Kokomo Murase as Japan went 1-2 on the podium at SunTrust Park, home of MLB’s Atlanta Braves.
Canada’s Brooke Voigt was third with 143.25 points, while Miyabi Onitsuka, who won last weekend in Beijing, finished fifth on 68.25.
Having arrived in Atlanta with a big lead in the standings, only an extremely sub-par performance could deny Iwabuchi the crown.
But the youngster, who finished fourth at the Pyeongchang Olympics and was coming off a fourth-place performance in China, came home with a flourish to secure her second gold medal of the season and the women’s crown.
The victory was Iwabuchi’s fifth overall on the World Cup circuit. She tallied 2,900.00 points for the season to finish ahead of Voigt (1,620.00) and Onitsuka (1,580.00) in the standings.
In the men’s competition, Ryoma Kimata took bronze to finish third overall in the standings.