Sport Other Sports Aussie snowboarder Scotty James lands X Games superpipe gold

Aussie snowboarder Scotty James lands X Games superpipe gold

Scotty James flies through the air in the men's snowboard superpipe final at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. Photo: Getty
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Australian Scotty James has overcome a training mishap to win X Games superpipe gold in Aspen, stamping his reputation as the world’s best snowboarder.

James, the 2017 champion and last year’s runner-up, scored a run-high 94 points with his range of tricks including a backside double 1260 and a switch backside 1080.

Japan’s Yuto Totsuka (90 points) was second and American Danny Davis (83.66) was third in the three-run, single best-score competition.

“I had a pretty horrible practice, which was really messing with me a little bit,” the 24-year-old told the Aspen Times of his less-than-ideal preparation to the competition.

“I broke my snowboard and I hadn’t done all my tricks yet or finished the run that I wanted to do.

“I was able to get up and get one more run in, but it was a new board so it was a little bit hard for me to figure it out. It was a pretty dramatic setup into the competition, but I was stoked I was able to pull it off.”

After fluffing his first run on a new board, the 2018 Winter Olympics bronze medallist set himself apart from his rivals with a superbly executed second effort.

The last rider down the ‘pipe, James then used his final run as a victory lap, boarding along the table sections of the feature to mingle with the crowd.

“To come up with a victory lap at the end is a dream come true,” he said.

James has already taken out events in Copper Mountain, Colorado and Laax, Switzerland this season, with victory in Aspen firmly positioning him as the top rider in the world.

Scotty James enjoys the acclaim of his second run. Photo: Getty

The victory sees him join compatriot Torah Bright as a two-time winner of an event that is regarded by many athletes as on-par with Olympic competition.

He’ll now turn his attention to the world championships at Park City, Utah next week where he is the two-time defending champion.

The X Games was notable for the absence of American all-time great Shaun White and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, who edged James into third at the PyeongChang Games last year.

That pair have opted to concentrate on qualifying for skateboarding as it makes its debut at the 2020 summer Olympics.

James, who doesn’t skate regularly, has made it clear he will be using the next two years to become the dominant rider in the halfpipe.

-AAP

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