Iwabuchi finishes 5th in snowboard slopestyle

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Reira Iwabuchi gets some air time during her second run in the women’s snowboard slopestyle final on Sunday.

Reira Iwabuchi looked on course for a medal, but a fall in her final run left her in fifth place in the women’s snowboard slopestyle final on Sunday at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Iwabuchi, making her second Olympic appearance, scored 80.03 on the second of her three runs. She appeared bound for a higher score on the final run, but fell on the landing of her last jump.

Teenager Kokomo Murase, who finished second in the qualifying round, failed to successfully land the final jump during all three of her runs and finished 10th with 49.05 points.

Iwabuchi said she felt uneasy heading into the final after feeling out of sorts during practice. The 20-year-old scored 75.60 points in her first run to put her in fourth place, where she remained after scoring 80.03 in her second.

Looking to move up with a strong final run, “I thought, I just have to do a little more to get to a medal,” Iwabuchi said. “But it got me thinking too much and I wasn’t able to focus on doing well.”

After the fall during the third run, she ended up dropping down a notch to fifth place.

She will look to rebound in the snowboard Big Air, the event in which she finished fourth at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. The qualifying round will be held on Feb. 14.

“I will try to get over it and get a medal,” Iwabuchi said.