The Yomiuri Shimbun Japanese teenager Yuki Kadono revived his medal hopes in the inaugural Olympic snowboard slopestyle event Saturday, grabbing a place in the final to be held later in the day at the Sochi Games.
Kadono bounced back from a disappointing showing in the qualifying round by placing fourth in the semifinals with a best score of 84.75 points at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
The top four in the semifinal round advanced to the final, joining the eight who automatically earned places from Thursday’s qualifying round.
Kadono, the 2012-13 overall World Cup champion, was third after the first run Saturday with 84.75 points. He failed to improve on that score in his second run, tallying 80.50 points.
In the second run, Mark McMorris of Canada scored 89.25 to knock Kadono to fourth place.
The Japanese then had to endure some tense moments as the final competitors completed their runs. Belgium’s Seppe Smits came agonizingly close to pipping Kadono for the fourth spot, scoring 84.50.
The others advancing were Britain’s Billy Morgan and American Sage Kotsenburg.