No medal: Shaun White. Photo: ReuterCold war mentalityAustralian finishes fourthTorah’s mum speaks out
When two-time defending champion Shaun White spotted Iouri Podladtchikov during qualifying for the snowboard halfpipe, they hugged.
“I love you man,” the American told him. “But you’re making me nervous.”
The words proved prophetic as Podladtchikov, the Swiss who had once competed for Russia, stormed to the gold medal with a score of 94.75.
Japan claimed the other medals, with 15-year-old sensation Ayumu Hirano (93.50) and Taku Hiraoka (92.25) peeling off superb runs.
Australian 18-year-old Kent Callister also had a night to remember, before a heaving crowd at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, finishing ninth with a top run of 68.50.
“That is the best contest I’ve ever been in,” Callister beamed. “It is the best day of my life, too. I had so much fun riding with everyone. The pipe’s alright, so it was a good experience.”
Like American hope Danny Davis, Callister appeared to lose speed in the flat section of the pipe, which has been heavily criticised in recent days.
“The pipe held up alright,” Callister said. “It could’ve been better but I did my best so I am happy with that.”
White was attempting to become the first American to win three gold medals in the same event at the Winter Olympics.
He had bombed his third trick on his first run, and then sent a scare through his camp when he landed on the base of his spine while attempting a final trick just for show.
The contest came down to final run of the night, but when White failed to nail the tricks needed early on in his run, it was clear the man nicknamed “iPod” was going to claim gold.
“They were pretty tough,” White said of the conditions. “The hard part is not practising but it was the same for everyone.
“I was looking for four (gold medals). I was hoping to do slopestyle, too, but it didn’t pan out. Tonight was just not my time.
“I am disappointed. I hate the fact that I nailed it in practice, but it happens. It’s hard to be consistent.”
White pulled out of the Olympic slopestyle event because of safety fears.
White, who won the halfpipe at the 2006 Turin Games and retained his title in Vancouver, had voiced concerns about the condition and difficulty of the slopestyle course during training runs.
Earlier, Nate Johnstone just missed the cut for final after China’s Yiwei Zhang bumped him out on the last run of the semi-final.
Scotty James, 19, missed out on progressing through to the semi-finals by just 1.25 points, finishing in 10th spot.
Scott scored 68.50 from his first run – a result some in the Australian camp believed should have been more – before crashing in his second run.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.