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Scotty James wins X Games gold

27 January 2017

SNOWBOARD: Current World Champion and PyeongChang 2018 contender Scotty James has won SuperPipe gold at the first X Games event of the season in Aspen.

James threw down a spectacular 90-point effort on the first of two runs in the final to beat a star studded-field that included the calibre of halfpipe legend Shaun White and Sochi 2014 Olympic gold medallist Iouri Podladtchikov.

“It’s Australia day back home today and I have my boxing kangaroo gloves on,” said James.

“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.”

James competed at his first Olympic Games at Vancouver in 2010 as a 15-year-old and four years later became a dual Olympian at Sochi.

He became World Champion in 2015 and has now added another massive victory to his already impressive resume.

“It’s really surreal I don’t have words for it right now. I am just over the moon, it was such an awesome event and there were some really tough riders.

“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.”

James led from start to finish hitting a massive method air to kick off his gold medal winning run before landing a double cork frontside 1080 and a cab double cork 1080.

He finished it off with a frontside 900 and a backside 1260 double cork to ensure he would take top step on the podium ahead of defeat the USA’s Matt Ladley and Taylor Gold.

Following on from his World Cup silver last weekend, the result highlights his credentials as a strong medal contender for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which are just over a year away.

James finished 21st in the halfpipe event at both the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Winter Games while also claiming 16th in slopestyle in Russia.

The gold in Aspen came in James’ sixth X Games appearance with his previous best result being bronze in last year’s event. James is the first Australian male rider to win the X Games Superpipe event.

Matt Bartolo

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