Snowboard - Aono wins World Cup opener

Ryo Aono won the opening snowboard halfpipe event of the season at Cardrona in New Zealand.

Snowboard - Aono wins World Cup opener

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Ryo Aono

Japanese hot favourite Aono had been in a different league all week and nailed his final ride once again, scoring 95.25 points to earn his ninth World Cup win.

Japan's Shuhei Sato (88.50) and China's Yiwei Zhang (84) finished second and third respectively

"That's cool and a perfect start into the season," he said.

America's Kelly Clark won the women's event in a more closely-fought event, scoring 83 to edge out France's Sophie Rodriguez (81.75). Spain's Queralt Castellet (71.75) came third.

"I'm really happy with my result here today. We are here to earn spots for our country in the Olympic qualifier period. The good finishes of Hannah (Teter, fourth) and me gave us a good start to the season," said Clark.

"I'm glad that the weather held off and stayed on my feet."

Rodriguez might have won had it not been for a fall while trying to land a frontside 900.

"It's a pity that I didn't land it as it might have been good for first place," she said.

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