Scotty James chokes back tears after winning bronze

An emotional Scotty James has fought back tears of joy after claiming bronze in the men's halfpipe at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

James became Australia's first men's snowboard medallist at a Winter Olympics when he took bronze on Wednesday afternoon.

The 23-year-old 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.

Japan's Ayumu Hirano was second with 95.25 points.

James was joined by members of his family after the medal presentation, where he was overcome with emotion speaking about his performance.

"I can't really talk honestly. It's really cool. I've just had amazing support from all these people," a teary James said with family members gathered beside him.

"I just came out fighting. The kid from Warrandyte Australia and that's what I know how to do so I did that and gave it my best shot today."

The 23-year-old had a special message for his fans back home, who were shown on Channel Seven's broadcast cheering their Aussie hero on.

"Thank you everyone from home it's been really cool," James said.

"I just want to go home to my beloved country in Warrandyte as well. I haven't been there I've just been away training.

"I'm just excited to go and enjoy this with my loved ones and my family and everyone that's supported me."

James has claimed golds twice at the world championships and once in the Winter X Games but vowed to come back bigger and better in 2022 for a crack at that elusive Winter Olympic gold.

"My goal is to come out here and ride the best I can and just fly my Australian flag in a sport that's not necessarily done by many Australians.

"I'm very proud of my country and where I come from but I can assure you that I'm just getting started.

"You can expect to see a lot more of me in the future."

James celebrating his bronze in the men's halfpipe. Pic: Getty

"I wish I kind of landed my second run but it is what it is."

"I'm just grateful to be standing up on the podium and honestly with all my family here and being able to fly the flag at the Opening Ceremony.

"I'm absolutely honoured so thank you guys back home it's been an incredible ride.

For 31-year-old White, the win sees the American become the first snowboarder to claim three gold medals in Winter Olympic history.

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.

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 coping and being taken from the course in a sled.

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.

With AAP

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