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Live updates, medals, results, Aussies in action, Scotty James, Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe final, start time


It’s Scotty James’ date with destiny as the Aussie snowboard star tries to knock off US legend Shaun White and claim gold at the Winter Olympics.

A bronze medallist at PyeongChang 2018, the Victorian is joined by 16-year-old compatriot Valentino Guseli in the 12-man Snowboard Halfpipe final this afternoon.

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James (who scored 91.25 in qualifying) is among the gold medal favourites as he tries to join Steven Bradbury and Dale Begg-Smith as Australia’s only male Winter Games gold medallists. But he’ll have to beat out both White and Japanese star Ayumu Hirano.

Hirano’s brother Kaishu launched 20.1 feet (6.13 metres) into the air on his way to a 75.50 in the opening stages of the first runs.

“They are getting up to that world record territory,” one of the commentators said.

The first of the Aussies, Guseli produced his trademark big air and moved into second with a 75.75, behind American Taylor Gold (81.75) but ahead of Shaun White (72.00).

The top three qualifiers all crashed out in their first runs – Ruka Hirano (unrelated to Ayumu and Kaishu), Scotty James and Ayumu Hirano – the latter going for a ridiculous backside triple cork 1440 in a run that could’ve sealed him gold nice and early.

“You have to give it to Scotty James for going for broke, leaving nothing behind,” one of the commentators said.

After one run Australia’s Guseli sat in the silver medal position.

TWO Aussies into Men’s halfpipe final! | 00:59

A brilliant run from Swiss rider Jan Scherrer – where the commentators couldn’t even describe his final trick – gave him an 87.25, shooting him up into first.

After being passed by rivals Guseli produced an even better second run, recording a 79.75 to move clear into third behind American Taylor Gold (81.75, first run) and Scherrer.

“I think we heard Val say – that’s alright, I’ve got more,” a commentator said.

Guseli was soon knocked off the podium by a brilliant 85.00 from Shaun White, putting the retiring US legend into second.

Qualifying third-placer Ruka Hirano crashed out again in his second run, before Scotty James finally delivered on his promise with an enormous 92.50 to launch into first.

“We are lost for words right now but we knew that was going to be an improvement. Forget the rest, we have the best with Scotty James,” the lead commentator said.

Ayumu Hirano then produced a stunning run to finish off the second round but it was only good enough for a 91.75, putting him second behind the Aussie James.

Hirano did not take the lead despite landing the triple cork 1440 for the first time.

With one run remaining the podium was James (92.50), Hirano (91.75) and Scherrer (87.25), with White (85.00) next-best and Guseli in sixth (79.75).

Scotty James had the second-best score in halfpipe qualifying. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Scotty James had the second-best score in halfpipe qualifying. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

In the final all competitors get three runs with only their best score counting. The starting order is in reverse order of qualification, meaning Guseli starts eighth (after qualifying fifth) in each set of runs, and James starts 11th (after qualifying second).

AUSSIES IN ACTION for Friday February 11(All times AEDT)

Alpine

Women’s Super G (1pm) [medal event] – Greta Small

Cross Country

Men’s 15km classic (6pm) [medal event] – Phil Bellingham, Seve de Campo, Lars Young Vik, Hugo Hinckfuss

Skeleton

Women’s Heats 1 and 2 (12:30pm, 2pm) – Jackie Narracott

Men’s Heat 3 and medal round (11:30pm, 12:55am Sat) – Nick Timmings

Snowboard

Men’s Halfpipe Final (12:30pm, 12:58pm, 1:25pm) – Scotty James, Valentino Guseli

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