Shaun White wins Winter Olympics halfpipe gold in Pyeongchang

American Shaun White became the first snowboarder to win three Olympic titles when he sensationally snatched halfpipe gold, denying Japanese teenager Ayumu Hirano with a superb final run.

Hirano, 19, landed back-to-back 1440s in his second run to overtake White with a score of 95.25, but the American replied with an amazing 97.75 to win.

“I was so overwhelmed with happiness,” a tearful White, 31, said.

His victory secured a 100th Winter Olympic gold for the United States.

“I’ve been through so much to get here,” added White, whose country is behind only Norway (121) in terms of total Winter Olympic golds.

“Waiting for my final score was awful and amazing at the same time. I knew I did a great ride and I was proud of that and I could walk away with my head high.”

It was the fourth snowboarding gold medal for the United States in Pyeongchang after successes for Chloe Kim, Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson.

White, known as ‘Flying Tomato’ because of his red hair, had overcome two heavy crashes in training in the build-up to the Games.

He had 62 stitches in a face wound suffered in a crash in New Zealand in October after injuring his shoulder the previous month.

However, he showed he was back to his best with only the second perfect score of 100 in history in January’s US Grand Prix.

“I actually did the same trick that injured me here in the halfpipe today,” White added.

“Honestly it’s one of the most challenging runs I’ve ever done. I didn’t even link the combination, the back-to-back 1440s until I got here, today, this morning. More: