Japanese snowboarder Reira Iwabuchi came agonisingly close to landing the first-ever frontside triple cork 1260 in Olympic Games history, but could not quite stick the landing.
The 20-year-old was competing in the final of the women’s big air and decided to attempt a trick that has never been completed before in a women’s competition.
Iwabuchi won a silver medal in the big air at the Winter X Games XXII in Colorado back in 2018 and then bronze in the same competition two years later.
The Japanese youngster came through qualifying yesterday and decided the final would be the perfect time to attempt this audacious move.
A triple cork involves three flips with a varying number of rotations. If there’s a number afterwards, it relates to the degree of the trick. A triple cork 1260 therefore involves three and half rotations.
Iwabuchi looked to have nailed the trick initially, but lost her balance ever so slightly as she attempted to stick the landing.
Once she reached the bottom, the other competitors were there waiting to congratulate in the air. In the end, however, many were forced to console the youngster, who was reduced to tears.
If Iwabuchi had landed the trick, it would surely have gone down as one of the best snowboard jumps of all-time.
To make matters worse for the Japanese star, her fall at the end meant she finished fourth and narrowly missed out on a medal.
These reactions say it all! 😬😱— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 15, 2022
Japan's Iwabuchi Reira almost landed an historic frontside triple cork 1260 in the women's big air final, a trick never done before in women's competition.#BBCOlympics #Beijing2022
In the end it was Austria’s Anna Gasser who finished first after landing a double cork 1260 in her final run. The 30-year-old won in PyeongChang four years ago and backed this up in Beijing to claim her second Olympic gold medal.
Gasser also won gold in the big air event at the 2017 World Championships and at the 2018 X Games.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synott finished second to claim her second medal of the Games. The 20-year-old also won gold in the women’s slopestyle.
Iwabuchi’s compatriot Kokomo Murase took bronze. The 17-year-old is competing in her first Winter Olympics and won the overall title in the slopestyle and freestyle and the 2021-22 FIS Snowboard World Cup.