• Kyodo

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Less than a month before the start of the Beijing Olympics, Japanese snowboarders Ayumu Hirano and Ruki Tomita won snowboarding World Cup halfpipe competitions on Saturday.

Hirano, a silver medalist at the past two Olympics, earned his first World Cup win since December 2017, while 20-year-old Tomita won for the first time on the women's tour.

Japanese boarders took four of the top six spots in the men's event, with Hirano scoring 95.80 to edge out compatriot Ruka Hirano for the top spot on the podium. Germany's Andre Hoeflich was third, while Japan's Kaishu Hirano was fourth and Ikko Anai sixth.

Tomita secured her win with 89.4 points, ahead of China's Cai Xuetong in second, her older sister Sena in third and compatriot Mitsuki Ono in fourth.

Japan also secured a podium finish in the women's slopestyle, with 17-year-old Kokomo Murase taking third behind America's Jamie Anderson and runner-up Zoi Sadowski Synnott of New Zealand.

The Winter Olympics officially get underway on Feb. 4.

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