STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Shaun White tops halfpipe qualifying, sets stage for intense final

Based on the level of riding in the qualifying round, the men's snowboard halfpipe final is going to be intense....

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 5:20 AM
Updated: Feb 13, 2018 5:20 AM

Based on the level of riding in the qualifying round, the men's snowboard halfpipe final is going to be intense.

Shaun White led the way, but Australia's Scotty James and Japan's Ayumu Hirano showed why they're considered gold medal contenders as well. All three riders landed runs well above what's normally seen during qualifying events, setting the stage for what could be one of the most progressive halfpipe competitions ever seen in tomorrow's final.

Although all three riders looked assured of spots in the final based on their first-run scores, it turned into a game of one-upmanship on the final set of runs.

First, Hirano dropped in for a big run that included a cleanly landed frontside double cork 1260. That run knocked White out of the top spot.

Then, James came out and stomped back-to-back double cork 1260s on his first two hits. His run displaced Hirano from the top of the leaderboard.

After that, it was White's turn to answer. Not one to be outdone, he put his trademark amplitude on display and dropped back-to-back 1260s of his own. And once again, the contest had a new leader.

On most occasions, riders choose to keep their runs relatively mellow during the qualifying round — especially when they're not in any danger of missing the final. But White, James and Hirano all looked like they were here to make a statement.

"I was stoked to put that (first) run down," White said. "That took the pressure and the edge off and then I started seeing everyone putting these great runs in and I figured I would step it up. They motivated me to send it on that last one."

And the best is still yet to come. All three of the favorites are bringing progressive tricks to PyeongChang.

Hirano recently became the first rider to land back-to-back 1440s. White says he's been working on the same combo and plans to do it here.

James has the switch backside double cork 1260, an extremely challenging trick that no other rider in the field is doing.

None of those tricks came out in the qualifying round, but expect to see them in the final. All three riders will need to empty out their bag of tricks in hopes of beating each other.

While the battle for gold is focused around the aforementioned trio, there will be 12 riders total in the final. Japan will have three riders in the final, Australia and Switzerland will have two riders, and Finland will have one.

But it's the traditionally deep U.S. team leading the charge with four riders, including White, making the final round.

Ben Ferguson, who qualified in fourth place with a great run of his own, is likely the team's top medal contender outside of White, but Chase Josey and Jake Pates could be in the mix as well.

The final will take place Wednesday morning (Tuesday night in the U.S.).

White will be attempting to become the first snowboarder to win three Olympic gold medals. He lost his Olympic title four years ago to Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov, who was unable to compete in PyeongChang due to a recent injury.

Snowboarders have accounted for all three of Team USA's gold medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics, as Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson and Chloe Kim have won gold in all three Olympic snowboarding finals that have been held so far.

White has a chance to make it 4-for-4, and there could be a little extra history on the line.

After Kim's victory in women's halfpipe on Tuesday, the U.S. has now won 99 gold medals all-time at the Winter Olympics. Whoever wins next will be responsible for Team USA's 100th gold medal.

Results

The 12 riders below are advancing to the final.

1. Shaun White (USA), 98.50
2. Scotty James (AUS), 96.75
3. Ayumu Hirano (JPN), 95.25
4. Ben Ferguson (USA), 91.00
5. Raibu Katayama (JPN), 90.75
6. Jan Scherrer (SUI), 84.00
7. Chase Josey (USA), 83.75
8. Jake Pates (USA), 82.25
9. Pat Burgener (SUI), 82.00
10. Yuto Totsuka (JPN), 80.00
11. Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), 77.50
12. Kent Callister (AUS), 77.00

What's Next?

NBCOlympics.com will be streaming every round of every competition live online. Here's how to watch all upcoming live streams for snowboard halfpipe.

Men's Final: Tuesday, Feb. 13, 8:30 p.m. ET
LIVE STREAM

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13005

Reported Deaths: 616
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds87724
Lauderdale67054
Madison63921
Scott58710
Neshoba51130
Forrest47833
DeSoto4586
Jones43513
Leake3828
Holmes35923
Rankin3366
Jackson29613
Copiah2734
Attala27012
Monroe24124
Leflore24025
Lincoln23820
Harrison2316
Newton2213
Lamar2184
Yazoo2042
Pearl River20327
Pike19411
Adams18115
Lowndes1587
Noxubee1576
Washington1515
Warren1486
Bolivar13610
Jasper1353
Oktibbeha12810
Covington1271
Smith12610
Chickasaw12512
Clarke12416
Lafayette1183
Kemper11810
Carroll1139
Marion1048
Lee1015
Winston981
Clay963
Coahoma963
Lawrence861
Hancock8411
Simpson830
Yalobusha824
Itawamba827
Wilkinson819
Montgomery781
Sunflower773
Wayne760
Grenada722
Union705
Jefferson Davis702
Marshall693
Tippah6911
Panola612
Calhoun604
Tate581
Claiborne571
Humphreys527
Walthall510
Amite501
Tunica482
Perry432
Jefferson400
Prentiss373
Stone300
Choctaw292
Webster271
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Quitman230
Tishomingo230
Tallahatchie231
George191
Alcorn151
Benton140
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14327

Reported Deaths: 551
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1973109
Jefferson157388
Montgomery114130
Marshall6449
Lee48832
Tuscaloosa47911
Franklin4346
Shelby42619
Tallapoosa39262
Butler33511
Chambers33023
Madison2924
Baldwin2739
Elmore2547
Etowah22810
DeKalb2143
Coffee1961
Dallas1913
Walker1911
Sumter1856
Lowndes18210
Houston1614
Morgan1571
Autauga1553
Choctaw1394
Calhoun1383
Marengo1326
Pike1280
Lauderdale1262
Colbert1252
Russell1250
Randolph1247
Hale1223
Wilcox1137
Marion10910
Barbour1051
Bullock1051
St. Clair1001
Clarke972
Greene904
Pickens884
Chilton861
Talladega862
Dale800
Cullman740
Limestone720
Jackson692
Washington645
Covington631
Winston610
Macon582
Bibb581
Crenshaw582
Henry521
Blount491
Lawrence410
Escambia403
Coosa331
Cherokee332
Geneva310
Perry290
Clay272
Monroe262
Conecuh251
Lamar180
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 82°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather