Going into the final as fourth-best qualifier, James nailed his first run with a backside double cork 1260 as the ‘last hit’, scoring 93.25 and leaving him at the top of a high calibre twelve-man final.
In front of an amped up full house in perfect blue-sky conditions the standard in the second run climbed as riders brought bigger tricks onto an immaculate-looking pipe.
James delivered an even better rendition of his first run, elevating the score to 96.50 with American Chase Josey showing what he is capable of by scoring 90.25, having recovered from a botched first run.
The World Cup winner would boil down to the third and final run for the ‘best of three’ and all eyes were on Scotty James’ 96.50 top score, as Josey produced a remarkable ride, which included three back side hits in a row that drew a new leader score of 97.75 with James still to go.
The gold slipped from the Australian’s grasp early in the final run when he dropped the backside 1260 and he had to settle for silver in an event that was crammed with top riders, including Olympic Champion Iouri Poladtchikov, who placed third and FIS rankings leader Patrick Burgener (8th).