Reira Iwabuchi and Takeru Otsuka, two snowboarders from Japan, took first and second place respectively, at the Big Air Chur Festival in Switzerland on Saturday, kicking off the park and pipe World Cup season in style.
Iwabuchi smashed the evening’s top three scoring runs in the women’s tournament. While in the men’s competition, Otsuka defeated Ruki Tobita to win the title for Japan in a 1-2 finish.
The Austrian two-time defending Olympic champion Anna Gasser finished 16 points behind the 20-year-old Iwabuchi, who scored 180.75, with Canada’s Jasmine Baird coming in third, 33.50 points down.
Iwabuchi, who finished fourth in the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, said that getting a good score on his first run gave him the motivation to keep things going on his second and third runs. I was successful in having a great competition.
Kokomo Murase, who won bronze in Beijing, came in fifth, one spot behind her sister Yura, while Chihiro Edamatsu came in seventh.
Otsuka, 21, who finished eighth in Beijing, won the World Cup for the first time since December 2018 after crushing two nearly faultless programs for a 166.50 total. Nick Puenter of Switzerland came in third with 125.50 points, finishing 26.50 ahead of Tobita.
Otsuka remarked, “Even while the technique itself wasn’t as difficult as the one I used at the Olympics in Beijing, I was driven to do it just right. I gave a clean landing to my undivided attention.”
Source: Kyodo News