Japan's three high-flying medal hopefuls safely negotiated the women's snowboard big air qualification round at the Beijing Olympics on Monday to progress into the final.

Kokomo Murase, Reira Iwabuchi and Miyabi Onitsuka took three of the top five slots at the spectacular Big Air Shougang venue, with New Zealand slopestyle gold medalist at the Beijing Games, Zoi Sadowski Synnott, leading the way.

Japanese snowboarder Kokomo Murase competes in the women's big air qualification round at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 14, 2022, at the Big Air Shougang in Beijing. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Murase, 17, was the best of the Japanese threesome, putting down three excellent jumps. Her first, a backside 1080 with a weddle grab, and her third, a frontside 1080 with a melon grab, giving her a two-jump 171.00-point total that put her second behind Sadowski Synnott's 176.50.

"I thought it would be fine if I just rode as normal," said Murase.

"After my first run, I had a good feeling. Now, I want to get to the final and make the podium."

With 158.50 points, Iwabuchi was third, thanks to an 83.00 first jump and a 75.50 second.

The 20-year-old is hoping to win her first Olympic medal after finishing fourth in this event in Pyeongchang in 2018 and ranking fifth in the slopestyle at these games.

"I am happy to have progressed to the final," Iwabuchi said. "I felt no impact from my elbow (which she hurt in practice) and was able to hit the jump without any fear."

Onitsuka, who failed to reach the slopestyle final, slotted into fifth. She landed all three jumps and was given a best score of 80.75 for her first, a backside double cork 1080 with two grabs.

Japanese snowboarder Reira Iwabuchi competes in the women's big air qualification round at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 14, 2022, at the Big Air Shougang in Beijing. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

In the men's big air qualification round held Monday afternoon, Takeru Otsuka and Hiroaki Kunitake jumped their way into the final.

Otsuka has had an underwhelming World Cup season but bought out his best in Beijing, securing the day's second-highest score with a 91.50 on his third jump, a cab triple cork 1800. He totaled 160.00 to finish behind only 2022 slopestyle gold medalist Canadian Max Parrott's 164.75 in the overall standings.

Kunitake finished fourth with 158.25 points after landing backside 1620s in his first and third jumps.

The other Japanese male riders, Kaito Hamada and Ruki Tobita, finished 15th and 29th respectively, with both missing their chance to move on.

Both women's and men's gold medals will be decided on Tuesday.

Japanese snowboarder Miyabi Onitsuka competes in the women's big air qualification round at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 14, 2022, at the Big Air Shougang in Beijing. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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