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1ST LEAD Shaun White wins his third Olympic halfpipe gold By Andre Leslie, dpa

Europe, Europa
14.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - US snowboarder Shaun White claimed his third Olympic gold medal, and the United States‘ 100th Winter Games gold, after coming from behind to win the men‘s halfpipe on Wednesday.

In front of the biggest crowd so far at Pyeongchang‘s Phoenix Snow Park, White started with a strong run of 94.25, before being passed by Japanese teenager Ayumu Hirano.

After scuffing his second run, the 31-year-old American, already a legend of his sport, then had to wait until the final moments of the competition to reclaim gold. His final run earned him a score of 97.75, and started with two back-to-back 1440s.

"Man, three gold medals. My fourth Olympics. Thank you, I‘m feeling blessed," White said, after hurling his snowboard and collapsing to his knees on hearing the news that he had won.

"I was so overwhelmed with happiness, I‘ve been through so much to get here. I had this crazy injury in New Zealand where I busted my face open.

"I actually did the same trick that injured me, here in the halfpipe today. So there were a lot of obstacles to overcome and now it‘s all worth it."

White‘s win means the United States has now won gold in all four freestyle snowboard events so far in South Korea. The victory is also his third at an Olympics, after gold medals in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.

While Hirano claimed silver with a best score of 95.25, Australia‘s Scotty James earned his country‘s second medal of the Games with a bronze first run of 92.00.

He commended White‘s work ethic, to get back on top of the podium after a surprising fourth spot in Sochi.

"He works hard, and we all work hard, and he just comes out and he knows these moments and he just delivers," James said.

"I know he‘s been working hard, so credit to him for being able to put it together today."

Sixteen-year-old Japanese boardrider Yuto Totsuka had to be stretchered off the pipe after falling heavily in his second run and did not complete his third run.

Snowboard action continues on Thursday with qualifying and finals for the men‘s snowboard cross. The women‘s snowboard cross races are due to take place Friday.

 

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