Shaun White: Competition in 2013 SuperPipe as Stiff as Ever for Superstar

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2013

Photo courtesy of ESPN
Photo courtesy of ESPN

Shaun White is accustomed to dominating the action sports world in the SuperPipe, but a gold medal isn't going to come as easy in 2013.

White is looking to win his sixth consecutive SuperPipe gold medal on Sunday, but with the show louri Podladtchikov put on in Thursday's qualifiers, the 24-year-old Russian poses a real threat to White's title run.

White finished second on Thursday, posting an even 87.00 while seeing Podladtchikov surpass him with a score of 87.33.

It's definitely going to put White in a different position when he competes on Sunday, as he's accustomed to dropping into the pipe last and winning it all on his last run.

According to Devon O'Neil of ESPN, White had a chance to re-take the lead on Thursday but instead opted to forgo any jumps and sail into the finals in the second position.

While White is undoubtedly the favorite to win his seventh consecutive title, Podladtchikov's skill set and talent could be dangerous for White.

As O'Neil reports, the Russian snowboarder is saving a special trick for Sunday's finale:

"I feel like it's going to work. I think I'm going to try it Saturday. It's going to be dangerous."

If White loses, the action sports world would be completely turned upside down, as O'Neil notes:

If the Russian-born Podladtchikov, known around the snowboarding world as "I-Pod," can unseat White, it will be the first time anyone has beaten the two-time Olympic gold medalist in 12 contests, a stretch spanning three years. White is trying to win his ninth career X Games Aspen SuperPipe gold medal.

Also posing a threat to White is Scotty Lago, who qualified in third with a 82.66 mark.

And if you're looking for a sleeper, look no further than 14-year-old, 116-pound Ayumu Hirano, who qualified in the sixth spot.

You can catch the SuperPipe final on Sunday night starting at 7:45 p.m. MST 


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