Japan's hopes of a record medal tally at the Beijing Winter Games rests on the shoulders of its snowboarding high-flyers, while Yuzuru Hanyu's stellar performance at the national championships on his return from injury puts Olympic history within his grasp.

Yuto Totsuka, Ayumu Hirano and Ruka Hirano in the men's snowboard halfpipe and female riders Reira Iwabuchi and Kokomo Murase in the same event will all challenge for the podium at the Games, which begin on Feb. 4, with many showing they are still contenders despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19 over the past two years.

Some of the female riders will double up in the slopestyle event with medals also likely, while others will go large at Beijing's spectacular Big Air Shougang venue.