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Scotty James defends World Championships crown

12 March 2017

SNOWBOARD: Scotty James has won his second consecutive halfpipe world title with an emphatic victory at the 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships this morning.

Scoring 95.75 for his first run, James’ title defence was never in doubt.

He eclipsed his score in his second run, scoring a massive 97.50 points to further extend his lead over the ten-strong field.

“Fair to say it’s a good feeling to put the first one down because you can feel a bit more comfortable to move forward,” James said.

“I was happy with the first score but obviously felt I could improve so 97 was really nice,” he said.

As number one qualifier, James had the advantage of being the last competitor to drop in and when his nearest rival, Olympic gold medallist Iouri Podladtchikov scored 93.25, there was no doubt of the result and James was able to enjoy a victory lap on his third and final run.

“I was ready to bounce back if one of the guys knocked me off the top,” James said.

“I switched it up after my first run and started instead with a front side nine and did the backside 1260 and that was the biggest thing that I was focusing on - especially with a field like that. I knew I had to do that to finish first or on the podium,” he said.

James said his win was a dream come true.

“Over the moon to call another gold medal mine after two years.

“I definitely thought about it waking-up and that it would be nice to win again and get another victory lap. Super stoked for that to happen.”

James' latest effort caps a stellar season for the two-time Olympian who has gone from strength to strength in recent months winning two of halfpipe’s biggest prizes, the World Cup Crystal Globe and the X Games gold medal.

With two World Championship titles under his belt, the only event that remains for the 22-year-old is Olympic gold and he has eleven months leading into the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games in February 2018 to prepare.

“The aim is to make the most of every halfpipe I get to ride and try and learn some new things because the next 11 months is huge for most of the riders because they’re all very hungry for what everyone wants and that’s a gold medal.”

Michelle Cook

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