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Snowboarding: Ayumu Hirano makes winning return on Aspen halfpipe

Ayumu Hirano. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Ayumu Hirano made a winning return to competitive snowboarding Thursday by claiming the men's halfpipe crown at the Aspen Snowmass Open in Colorado, a stop on the U.S. Revolution Tour.

    The last time the 22-year-old Hirano competed in a FIS-sanctioned event was at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he finished second behind American Shaun White for his second silver medal in as many Olympic appearances.

    At Aspen's Buttermilk Ski Area, Hirano had a best score of 92.75 in his first of two runs in the final. Joshua Bowman finished second with 84.50 and fellow American Ryan Wachendorfer was third with 81.50.

    According to U.S. media reports, Hirano had been slated to compete at the X Games last month but made a late withdrawal.

    Hirano has said he has his sights set on making Japan's skateboarding team for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

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