Scotty James wins fifth X Games snowboard halfpipe title
Scotty James doesn’t have Olympic gold, but he remains king of the X Games halfpipe.
James, the Australian snowboarder who took bronze and silver at the last two Olympics, earned his fifth Aspen gold, repeating as champ of the biggest annual contest under falling snow in the Colorado Rockies. Only the retired Shaun White has more X Games men’s snowboard halfpipe titles with eight.
Nobody on Friday night attempted a triple cork, which was first done in competition by Japan’s Ayumu Hirano last season en route to the Olympic title. Hirano placed sixth Friday.
“It was a tough night, pretty interesting conditions,” James said. “Had to adjust the game plan. The show goes on.”
Lucas Foster, the lone American, was last in the eight-man field.
In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression over the course of a three-run jam session for the entire field rather than scoring individual runs.
Earlier, Olympic gold medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand repeated as women’s snowboard slopestyle champion, passing Olympic bronze medalist Tess Coady of Australia on the final run of the competition. Sadowski-Synnott, the only snowboarder or skier to win Olympic, world and X Games slopestyle titles, capped her finale with back-to-back 900s.
The competition lacked 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion Jamie Anderson, who announced her pregnancy last month.
Canada’s Megan Oldham landed the first triple cork in women’s ski big air competition history to beat Olympic silver medalist Tess Ledeux of France, according to commentators. Oldham, a 21-year-old ex-gymnast, was fourth at the Olympics.
Eileen Gu, the Olympic champion from China, did not enter big air, then late Friday announced her withdrawal from X Games due to a knee injury.
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