Despite the result, James was happy with his performance, which was watched by his female Halfpipe teammates including Torah Bright and Holly Crawford.
“I just wanted to put down a good run. I wanted to do the triple [cork] and I did, so I’m stoked,” he said.
James scored 77.25 in his first run and was briefly ranked as high as second, before resting in sixth at the end of the first run.
James needed to improve in his second run if he was going to be in with a chance, but had a less than perfect start on the rails, ultimately scoring a disappointing 19.00.
“I went too far on the first feature and lost speed on the second and third feature,” he said.
“After I crashed on the third feature I said to myself it’s not meant to be. So, on the last jump I decided to do a backflip to give something to the crowd.”
The Melbourne-born snowboarder crashed during qualification on Thursday and sustained chest and rib bruising. He’ll have a short recovery before competing in his pet event on Tuesday. James was the overall Halfpipe World Cup winner this season.
“Now I’m just going to go out to the Halfpipe and really enjoy it.”
The first Gold medal of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games went to Sage Kotsenburg of the USA, who pulled out a near-flawless first run, scoring 93.50. After a touchdown on his first attempt Norwegian rider Staale Sandbech came back strongly on his second to take Silver (91.75) with Bronze going to Canadian Mark McMorris (88.75) in the event's Olympic debut.
Emily Groves | sochi2014.olympics.com.au