Australia is in awe of superstar snowboarder Scotty James after he delivered a staggering run in the men’s snowboard halfpipe final to claim silver in Beijing.
The 2018 PyeongChang flag-bearer improved on his bronze medal at those Games in one of the great Olympic finals in history, as Japan’s Ayumu Hirano sent the sport to new heights with three 1440s and two triple corks (the first time that trick had ever been completed in Olympic competition) in a mind-boggling final run to claim gold.
James, who pulled off two 1440s of his own, said: “I hope people don’t think that I’m at all disappointed. I’m absolutely incredibly over the moon. I came out and gave it my best shot.”
He added: “I don’t have too many words for it right now, I’m absolutely thrilled.”
The sensational manner of the final was not lost on him, declaring: “It came down to the last run… It really could have been anyone’s today and I think that’s the most exciting thing.”
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There was controversy after the second run when many believed two-time silver medallist Hirano should have been given a higher score than James, before the Australian went for broke on his third run only to pull out of an anticipated triple cork of his own.
Hirano then demolished his previous best – and James’ score – to come out on top at the finish.
Social media went wild in the aftermath of the jaw-dropping finale.
Luke Dennehy declared it “The best silver medal you ever will see”.
Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott was absolutely ecstatic.
Western Advocate reported Alex Grant wrote James “went BALLISTIC”.