Snowboard

Chloe Kim wins on World Cup return in Laax

PyeongChang 2018 halfpipe champion beats Lausanne 2020 gold medallist Ono Mitsuki to make triumphant comeback after nearly two years out.

By Rory Jiwani ·

After almost two years away from competition, Chloe Kim is back with a win.

The Olympic snowboard halfpipe champion took the World Cup event in Laax, Switzerland with a solid second run after falling as she overdid a frontside 1080 tail grab on her first run.

Japan's Ono Mitsuki, gold medallist at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, led at halfway with 76.50, but fell on an attempted frontside 1080 at the end of her second run to leave the path clear for Kim.

The 20-year-old American took full advantage, taking some amplitude out of her opening backside air before landing the frontside 1080 followed by a cab 720, a frontside 900 tail grab and a big McTwist to score 89.75 for the victory.

Ono's team-mate, PyeongChang 2018 finalist Tomita Sena was third with 75.75.

Spain's four-time Olympian Queralt Castellet, who won this event 12 months ago, fell on both runs attempting frontside 1080s and ended up in sixth and last place.

Kim last competed at the U.S. Open in March 2019 where she was beaten by Maddie Mastro and found out afterwards that she had broken her ankle.

After surgery and taking time out to begin her studies at Princeton University, the 20-year-old made an impressive return by topping the scoresheets in Friday's semi-finals with 94.00 on the slope where she won the 2010 European Open aged just nine.

She told FIS afterwards, "I'm so happy I was able to land something today. I'm just stoked to be out here, stoked to be competing again. It's been almost two years, so I was very nervous this competition but I'm so grateful I was able to put something down.

"Thank you to everyone who's continued to support me even during my two-year break, but I'm really happy to be back."

Check out her winning run below:

Chloe Kim's still got it!

Olympic halfpipe champion Chloe Kim has only resumed training in October 20...

In the men's, Totsuka Yuto produced a spectacular performance to defeat old rival Scotty James.

The Japanese opened his second run with a frontside 1440 and landed three more 1260s in a stunning run which had his opponents applauding their admiration.

He scored 95.25 to James' first-run 93.75 with Australia's three-time world champion and PyeongChang bronze medallist having to settle for second.

Lausanne 2020 champion Hirano Ruka was third with 88.25.

Attention now turns to next week's X Games in Aspen, Colorado where Totsuka and James are set to come up against three-time Olympic champion Shaun White in the Superpipe competition.