Two-time champ White fails to make podium in halfpipe

2/11/2014 2:08:49 PM
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Legendary American snowboarder Shaun White failed to win a medal in men's halfpipe at the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday.

White came in fourth place in the event. He was the two-time defending gold medallist.

The gold medal went to Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov. The Russian-born athlete posted a score of 94.75 out of a possible 100 to leapfrog into first place on his second of two runs.

Podladtchikov, who goes by the moniker "I-Pod" on the snowboarding circuit, landed the trick he invented to seal the win — a 1440-degree whirling jump he nicknamed the "Yolo" jump.

White is two-time defending champion in the event and the most decorated snowboarder of all time.

He struggled in his first run, landing on the edge of the halfpipe lip coming out of a double McTwist. He finished the run but scored just 35.00 points.

The American fared much better with a score of 90.25 on his second attempt, but it wasn't enough to get on to the podium.

"I am disappointed," White said after the finals were over.

"I was looking for four — I was hoping to do slopestyle, too, but it didn't pan out. Tonight was just not my time."

It was 15-year-old Japanese phenom Ayumu Hirano who was seen as the best bet to dethrone him, as the diminutive Japanese phenom has been nipping White's heels all season.

Hirano's run did not disappoint, posting a score of 93.50. But Podladtchikov, who seemed to get better as the day went on, posted an eye-popping jump to close out his second run in the finals and jump into the lead.

Japanese snowboarder Taku Hiraoka took the bronze.

Podladtchikov's win is vindication for him after finishing in fourth place, just outside the medals, four years ago in Vancouver.

The event saw many competitors wipe out over the course of the day, as there have been many complaints that the Sochi course is too vertical. The vertical edge of the pipe is seven metres tall in Sochi, more than twice the height it has been in previous Olympic competitions.

Many competitors have been hitting the deck on top of the course instead of landing their jumps cleanly.

Shaun White (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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