Reigning world and Olympic champion Chloe Kim won the women's snowboard halfpipe final in Laax in her first World Cup since March 2021 ©Getty Images

Reigning world and Olympic champion Chloe Kim won the women’s snowboard halfpipe final at Laax in Switzerland on her return to the World Cup circuit.

Kim, who has not competed at a World Cup since March 2021, topped qualification on Thursday (January 13) and converted that into a victory today as she triumphed at the final meeting of the snowboard halfpipe World Cup season with a best score of 90.25.

Second place went to Japan’s Mitsuki Ono with a best score of 89.00, with the podium completed by Queralt Casetellet of France with a score of 80.00.

The overall World Cup title went to Cai Xuetong of China, whose seventh place finish in Laax was enough for her to top the standings on 216 points after three rounds of competition.

Sena Tomita of Japan finished second overall with 190 points after a fourth place finish today, while the overall World Cup podium for the discipline was completed by Ono with 175 points.

In the men’s snowboard halfpipe Pyeongchang 2018 silver medallist Japan’s Ayumu Hirano was victorious with a best score of 93.25, following up from his victory a week earlier at Mammoth Mountain.

Second place went to Jan Scherrer of Switzerland with a score of 90.00, while Shaun White of the United States, a three-time Olympic men’s halfpipe champion, finished in third place on 84.00.

In the overall World Cup standings, Ayumu Hirano triumphed with 250 points, with his compatriot Ruka Hirano, who is of no relation, in second place overall on 206 points, despite only finishing tenth today.

Scherrer completed the podium in the overall World Cup with a score of 160 points.

In the women’s snowboard slopestyle discipline, Tess Coady of Australia, who finished top of qualifying, was a comfortable winner in the final, scoring 86.18.

Reigning slopestyle World Cup champion Anna Gasser of Austria was second with 78.56, while third place went to Annika Morgan of Germany with 76.61.

After three of six competitions in the current World Cup season, Japan’s Kokomo Murase, who did not compete in Laax, leads the standings with 160 points.

Murase has a 34 point lead over second-placed Melissa Peperkamp of The Netherlands, who sits on 126 points.

The men’s snowboard slopestyle was won by Sean Fitzsimons of the United States with a score of 80.91.

Sochi 2014 silver medallist Ståale Stanbech was close behind in second with a total of 80.43, with the podium completed by American Jake Canter in 74.76.

World champion Marcus Kleveland of Norway endured a disappointing day finishing bottom of the 12 finalists.

After three of six competitions in the overall World Cup standings, Sebastien Toutant of Canada leads on 145 points.

Toutant holds a 20 point advantage over Niek van der Velden of the Netherlands, who has 125 points.

The next round of the men’s and women’s snowboard slopestyle World Cup circuit is scheduled to take place at Bakuriani in Georgia on March 6.