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Snowboarding-American White makes podium at Laax, compatriot Kim retains title

Randy Mancini 6 Jan 15
Snowboard: U.S. Grand Prix Snowboard / Freeski
FILE PHOTO: Dec 9, 2021; Copper Mountain, Colorado, USA; Shaun White of the United States during snowboard qualifiers for the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Snowboard / Freeski halfpipe event at Copper Mountain Main Vein Superpipe. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

January 15, 2022

(Reuters) – Three-time Olympic champion Shaun White made his first podium since the 2018 Pyeongchang Games on Saturday, finishing third at the Laax Open snowboard halfpipe in Switzerland where fellow American Chloe Kim retained her title.

White, who finished behind Beijing 2022 favourite Ayumu Hirano of Japan and Swiss Jan Scherrer, is heading to his fifth Olympic Games.

Saturday’s performance showed the 35-year-old still has plenty in the tank as he put up an 84.00 on a first run that featured his Double McTwist 1260. White was beaming and high-fiving fans afterwards.

Twice world champion Kim, who won gold in the women’s halfpipe in Pyeongchang, gave another stellar performance with a top score of 90.25, cementing her status as the woman to beat in Beijing.

She returned to competition a year ago after taking a 22-month break and won the women’s halfpipe at Dew Tour last month.

The Beijing Games run from Feb. 4-20.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)