James emerges as bronzed Aussie
WINTER SPORTS: American snowboarding legend Shaun White has claimed an astonishing record third Olympic gold medal as a late crash consigned Australian Scotty James to bronze in a thrilling men's halfpipe final.
James was placed third going into the final of three runs with Japan's Ayumu Hirano holding the gold position.
James slid out on his final run, leaving White, the king of snowboarding, needing a big run to take gold off Hirano.
Boy, did he deliver; a flawless run seizing the title with a near-perfect score of 97.75.
It was particularly satisfying for White, known as 'Flying Tomato' because of his red hair, who won gold at the 2006 and 2010 Games but flopped in Sochi four years ago.
Hirano's second run of 95.25, featuring back-to-back 1440s for the first time in an Olympic final, got him silver.
James scored 92.00 on his first run, which included his party trick - a switch backside 1260 he feels doesn't get enough credit from judges.
The bronze is Australia's 14th Winter Olympics medal and fifth bronze. It is Australia's second medal of the PyeognChang Games after Matt Graham's moguls silver.
"I came out and did it the Australian way. I gave it a hard crack,” an upbeat James said after the final.
"I was expecting a good battle and a battle it was.
"I wish I had landed my second run but it is what it is. Honestly, today for me is I get one opportunity every four years to show my country, Australia, what I do.
"I think I displayed that as well is I could. I'm grateful to be standing here, and to get on the podium. It's been an incredible ride.”
Australia's other finalist, Kent Callister, finished 10th.
White celebrated wildly after the victory and burst into tears as he celebrated with his family.
Team USA are threatening to clean up in snowboarding in South Korea, winning all four competitions so far.
The 17-year-olds Chloe Kim and Red Gerard, and fellow American Jamie Anderson, have all won in Pyeongchang.
White, a comparative veteran and snowboarding's biggest star, was in ominous form in qualifying on Tuesday as he topped the standings.
He has been determined to show snowboarding's next generation that he is no spent force after scoring a controversial perfect 100 in Colorado last month that sparked accusations of favouritism.
"It was amazing. Honestly, it could have gone either way with any of us on the podium,” James said of the final battle.
"Shaun is an amazing athlete and he has achieved a lot of great things. He achieved another awesome feat in his career today. Hats off to Hirano as well.
"He is one of the most flawless snowboarders I know.”