Proud James snow­boards to Olympic bronze

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - GLENN CULLEN

SCOTTY James has won bronze for Aus­tralia in the half-pipe to be­come the coun­try’s first men’s snow­board medal­list at a Win­ter Olympics.

James got his medal with his first run of 92 points but ul­ti­mately couldn’t match the silky skills of Amer­i­can Shaun White who snatched his third Games half-pipe gold with his last run of 97.75.

Ja­pan’s Ayumu Hi­rano was sec­ond with 95.25 points.

The gold medal was very much on the line go­ing into the fi­nal run.

James had his chance to move fur­ther up the podium but fell on his fi­nal ef­fort.

“I came out and did it the Aus­tralian way and gave it a real hard crack, I was ex­pect­ing a re­ally good bat­tle and a bat­tle it was,” he said.

“I wish I kinda landed my sec­ond run but it is what it is.

“I’m just grate­ful to be stand­ing up on the podium.”

An emo­tional James said it had been a “tough jour­ney” to get to the Olympics, but the ex­pe­ri­ence had been an “in­cred­i­ble ride”.

“It’s (been) my goal to come out here and ride as best as I can and fly my Aus­tralian flag in the sport that is not nec­es­sar­ily done by many Aus­tralians,” he said.

“I’m very proud of my coun­try and where I come from but I can as­sure you I am just get­ting started, you can ex­pect to see a lot more of me in the fu­ture.”

James be­comes the sec­ond Aus­tralian medal­list of the PyeongChang Win­ter Olympics af­ter Matt Gra­ham won sil­ver in the moguls.

It is Aus­tralia’s 14th Win­ter Olympics medal.

An­other podium fin­ish in South Korea will en­sure the team will at least match the three-medal per­for­mance of Sochi four years ago.

Fel­low Aus­tralian Kent Cal­lis­ter was 10th in the men’s snow­board half-pipe.

Scotty James cel­e­brates on the podium af­ter claim­ing bronze.

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