James wins halfpipe bronze in spectacular final

Scotty James has won bronze for Australia in the halfpipe to become his 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 the gold with his last run of 97.75.

23-year-old James adds his first Winter Olympics medal to a tally that also includes two world championship golds and a Winter X Games gold medal.

Japan's Ayumu Hirano was second with 95.25 points.

The billing of the best three men's halfpipe riders on the planet certainly lived up to the hype and the gold medal was very much on the line going into the final run.

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James celebrates his bronze finish. Pic: Getty

It was the jubilant White who came up with the goods though, capturing his third Games halfpipe gold on the last run of competition as he overtook young gun Hirano.

Second last down the 'pipe, James had his chance to move further up the podium but dragged his arm in his second run and fell on his final effort.

Many riders had struggled with the timing of their tricks on Wednesday, Japan's Yuto Totsuka feeling it most brutally after crashing heavily on the halfpipe.

Much of the competition pre-amble centred on judging controversies, with James outspoken in his belief White shouldn't have received a perfect score of 100 in a World Cup competition last month.

James was also adamant that his switch backside 1260 - arguably the most technical trick and one only he throws down - was being underscored.

But the judges looked to be on the money on Wednesday as White cemented his status as the world's greatest snowboarder.

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 ensuring the team will at least match the three-medal performance of Sochi four years ago.

Fellow Australian Kent Callister was 10th.

The final was halted midway through the second run when Japanese teenager Totsuka crashed hard on the lip of the halfpipe.

The 16-year-old sat up before being stretchered off the course to be assessed.

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