More Sports / Winter Sports

Ruka Hirano claims first halfpipe World Cup win

Kyodo

Snowboarder Ruka Hirano captured his first World Cup victory in Calgary on Saturday in the men’s halfpipe competition, the last of five events of the season.

The 17-year-old, who won gold at the Winter Youth Olympics in Switzerland last month, scored 94.75 points at Canada Olympic Park to claim his first World Cup win in nine attempts.

Australia’s Scotty James finished runner-up with 92.25, while Switzerland’s Patrick Burgener took third with 89.50.

Hirano, who has landed on the World Cup podium six times since his debut in 2018, took third at the World Cup in California earlier this month, won by compatriot Yuto Totsuka for his first victory of the season.

Totsuka finished second in the 2019-2020 men’s halfpipe World Cup standings and missed out on his third straight overall championship. James, who won the season’s first three events, clinched the overall title, while Hirano ended the season in third.

In the women’s field, 15-year-old Mitsuki Ono, also a halfpipe champion at the Winter Youth Olympics, came in second behind China’s Cai Xuetong.

China’s Liu Jiayu took third, while Ruki Tomita and Haruna Matsumoto finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

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