Shaun White sent a clear message to the competition by winning the men’s halfpipe qualifying round at the 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea Tuesday, according to ESPN.
The two-time Olympic gold medal snowboarder landed a 98.5 in his second run. White beat out Australia’s Scotty James for the top spot, with Japan’s Ayumu Hirano landing in third place. All three will battle for the gold in the finals Wednesday morning (Tuesday night in the U.S.) at the winter games.
According to the video shared by NBC Olympics on Instagram, White reached 18.8 feet on one of his back-to-back double cork 1260s in the second run to take the top spot on the leaderboard.
It was something to see. Check it out.
After qualifying, White told reporters that he was actually “more nervous” about the qualifying run than he was about the finals in a video clip.
As impressive as all three men’s runs where, the finals are sure to be even better with all three snowboarders planning to bring their best tricks.
Last month, Hirano won the Winter X Games after he successfully landed back-to-back 1440-degree double corks, something that had never been done in a competition. White has said he’s been working on something similar.
Americans Ben Ferguson, Chase Josey and Ben Pates will also compete in the 12-man final round.