Eagle boarder Jake Pates advances to halfpipe finals; Shaun White tops qualifier | AspenTimes.com

Eagle boarder Jake Pates advances to halfpipe finals; Shaun White tops qualifier

Staff and wire reports

Jake Pates, of the United States, jumps during the men's halfpipe qualifying at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Shaun White won halfpipe qualifying at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games on Tuesday and will drop in last for what’s shaping up as an epic final.

The two-time gold medalist scored a 98.5 to edge Australia’s Scotty James for the prime spot in Wednesday’s three-run final.

Eagle’s Jake Pates put together a solid second run to advance to the 12-man finals (which are 7 p.m. mountain time Tuesday). His 82.25-point run ranked him eighth going into the finals.

Sochi silver medalist Ayumu Hirano of Japan finished third.

Hirano won the Winter X Games last month with back-to-back 1440-degree double corks, a combination that had never been successfully landed in competition. White has said he’s working on the same tricks, while James has the most technically on-point package in the game.

Also in the 12-man final will be Americans Ben Ferguson and Chase Josey.