Chloe Kim won her first event of the Olympic season at the Dew Tour on Sunday while Japan’s snowboarders showed why they are tipped for the podium at next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics with Yuto Totsuka winning the men’s halfpipe and Ayumu Hirano becoming the first to land a frontside triple cork 1440 in competition.
Kim, the reigning Olympic women’s halfpipe champion, came out on top with a score of 96.00, beating out Spain’s Queralt Castellet and China’s Xuetong Cai.
Kim had dropped to seventh after falls in her first two runs, but was able to edge ahead of Castellet by one point and get the win thanks to a near-perfect third run.
“That was so stressful. I hate when I’m in that situation when it comes to the third and final run,” said Kim, who is set to officially qualify for the US Olympic team this week.
“Just putting myself in those high-stress situations, especially with the Olympics coming up is pretty important. So, happy I was able to pull through.”
Maddie Mastro, the other American Olympic medal contender and the last woman to beat Kim at the 2019 Burton US Open, crashed hard on her first run and did not take her second and third runs. Officials said she suffered an ankle injury.
In the men’s halfpipe, Hirano ended fifth but stole the show by landing the dangerous frontside triple cork 1440, which consists of three head-over-heels flips and a twist while grabbing the board.
“I was very happy to land the triple cork in competition for the first time,” Hirano said. “It’s game on.”
Totsuka held off American Taylor Gold and compatriot Ruka Hirano to win with 95.50 at Copper Mountain, Colorado.