Scotty James has come agonisingly close to winning a third-straight X Games superpipe gold medal, claiming silver as a long-awaited showdown with legend Shaun White failed to eventuate.
The 25-year-old snowboarder from Melbourne led for most of Sunday’s competition in Aspen, Colorado, after an impressive first run, before being overtaken by Japanese rider Yuto Totsuka in the later rounds.
In the last run of the day three-time world champion James had one last chance to topple 2020 silver medallist Totsuka and delivered an impressive performance but came up just short in the judge’s eyes.
Rounding out the podium in third place was another Japanese rider, Ruka Hirano.
Three-time Olympic champion White (USA) was set to make his comeback and renew his rivalry with James in his first event since the 2018 Winter Olympics, however he withdrew due to injury just hours before the competition with a tweaked knee.
The podium performance gave James the sixth X Games superpipe medal of career.