Australia's Scotty James has cemented his place as the world's premier halfpipe rider, barnstorming his way to a convincing win at the Winter X-Games in Aspen.
The 22-year-old Victorian wasted no time in staking his claim for gold, notching a score of 90 in his very first run, capped by a backside 1260 double cork to leave the rest of the field scrambling. It proved enough, and the young Aussie led from start to finish on his way to a second major title, having won the World Championship in 2015.
“I just came out wanting to have the best time and have lots of fun and let the rest do the talking, and it’s absolutely a dream come true to come away with the gold", an excited James said after the victory.
“I didn’t get too comfortable, especially with competitors like that in the field, but we did it, we got it in the end, so I am stoked".
Those "competitors" included the last two Olympic gold medalists, Shaun White and Iouri Podladtchikov, among a field of the heaviest hitting names in the discipline. James will hope to add his name to that list of Olympic champions in 2018, having first appeared in the Games as a fresh-faced 15-year-old back in 2010. He struggled in Sochi three years ago, the result of adjusting to a sudden growth spurt in his late teens, but he's been well and truly firing ever since. As it stands, he's the favourite for gold next time around.
1 Scotty James - 90.00
2 Matt Ladley - 80.00
3 Taylor Gold - 79.00
4 Chase Josey - 75.00
5 Danny Davis - 74.00
6 Louie Vito - 72.00
7 Ben Ferguson - 70.00
8 Taku Hiraoka - 68.66
9 Ayumu Hirano - 54.33
10 Iouri Podladtchikov - 31.33
11 Shaun White - 29.66
12 Pat Burgener - 14.33
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