PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Shaun White looked sensational in qualifying first in the men’s halfpipe snowboarding competition of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Now, he and a group of talented challengers will take three runs for the gold medal. Stay here for live updates and analysis from Pyeongchang:
Top Names Waiting for Their Shot
The three biggest names, Ayumu Hirano of Japan, Scotty James of Australia and White, will go in the last three spots.
Of the earlier, less heralded competitors, the first to put up a strong run was Patrick Burgener of Switzerland. He looked remarkably unruffled before his run, miming some air guitar, then hit all his tricks to score an 84.00. The American Chase Josey topped him with an 87.75. That’s probably not enough for a medal, but a real marker for the favorites to shoot for.
What to Expect in the Halfpipe
• Expect White to throw moves like the Frontside double cork 1080, the frontside 5 stalefish, the double mctwist 1260, the and the frontside double cork 1260.
• His chief challengers are Ayumu Hirano of Japan, 19, who is noted for being the first man to land back-to-back 1440s, and Scotty James of Australia, 23, a two-time world champion who has said the judges unduly favor White.
• Each boarder gets three runs; only the best one counts.
• White is a two-time Olympic champion, in 2006 and 2010. He crashed hard in 2014 and finished a disappointing fourth.
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