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Americans Dominate Halfpipe

March 3, 2002

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SAPPORO, Japan (AP) _ Andy Finch and Tricia Byrnes of the United States each scored their first career World Cup halfpipe victories Sunday.

Finch won the men’s title with 44.4 points at the Makomanai ski area in northern Japan, edging local favorite Takaharu Nakai by 0.9 points. Nakai was fifth at last month’s Salt Lake City Olympics, where American men swept the medals.

Germany’s Jan Michealis finished in third place with 42.8 points, followed by Japan’s Daisuke Murakami.

In the women’s event, Byrnes scored 37.8 points to beat Austria’s Nicola Pederzolli. Gretchen Bleiler, also of the United States, was third.

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