• Kyodo

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Kokomo Murase finished just short of a victory in the opening round of the FIS Snowboard Park and Pipe World Cup on Saturday after producing the highest-scoring trick of the women’s big air competition at Austria’s Kreischberg ski resort.

The 16-year-old Murase had to settle for second place on 161.80 points, 0.60 behind New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott who claimed her first World Cup big air win. Austria’s Anna Gasser was third on 161.40.

Murase, a silver medalist at the 2020 X Games in Aspen, earned the highest single-jump score of both the men’s and women’s competition for her first trick, a backside double-cork 1260, which received a 92.00 from the judges.

But the Gifu Prefecture native was unable to claim a maiden World Cup title after earning 69.80 on her second hit, a double-underflip 900.

Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi and Miyabi Onitsuka finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Japan’s Takeru Otsuka came fourth and Hiroaki Kunitake sixth in the men’s event won by Canada’s Max Parrot.

Kreischberg became the first stop on the 2020-2021 World Cup calendar after the novel coronavirus pandemic halted competition before last season was completed in full.

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