White targets third gold in snowboard halfpipe
Shaun White (USA) can become the first snowboarder to win three gold medals in a single event when he competes in men's halfpipe at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Tuesday 11 February.
The US superstar who claimed the title at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics is fully focused on going for his three-peat after the 27-year-old pulled out of the slopestyle event in order to concentrate on his mission Gold at Sochi.
And White seems to be optimistic.
After the first day of training on the 234m long halfpipe, he referred to "first day jitters" but said it "had the potential to be amazing".
While aiming to become the seventh athlete in Olympic history to win a record three successive gold medal in an individual winter sport event, he also has to keep an eye on his rivals.
One of them is Iouri Podladtchikov who had missed the 2010 Olympic podium as fourth but has raised the bar of halfpipe snowboarding landing the first ever cab 1440 double cork in competition last March.
In addition, the Swiss born in Russia is pmped to compete in the home country of his parents.
However, White has learned the 'Yolo flip' and is estimated to be able to throw down a triple cork in the pipe, a trick which has never been reported to been landed in the halfpipe before.
Other riders to watch out for are White's team mates Danny Davis and Greg Bretz as well as rising star from Japan Ayumu Hirano.
With the last official training re-scheduled from this morning till tonight in order to fine tune the pipe, it seems that dinner is almost served.
Qualification will take place tomorrow at 11 AM CET (heat 1) and 12:10 PM CET (heat 2) with the semis to kick of at 4 PM CET and the finals of the best 12 riders scheduled for 6:30 PM CET.
A total of 40 men, randomly divided in two heats will compete. Top 3 of each heat will make it straight to the finals, with riders ranked 4 thru 9 going to the semis.
In the semis, 12 riders will battle for the last 6 remaining spots for the finals.