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ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Japan's twice silver medallist Ayumu Hirano easily led Wednesday's snowboard halfpipe qualifiers at the Beijing Games, while American Shaun White kept his Olympic dreams alive by advancing after a wobbly first run.
The 35-year-old White, competing at his fifth Games, fumbled a jump and fell in his opening run but the Californian recovered with 86.25 points in the second run, guaranteeing him a spot in Friday's final as he came fourth in the qualifiers.
Hirano, who won silver at Pyeongchang 2018 and Sochi 2014, topped the qualifiers with his second run score of 93.25.
Scotty James of Australia came in second with a best score of 91.25. Third was 19-year old Ruka Hirano, no relation to the top runner, who earned 87 points.
Each boarder gets two runs in the halfpipe, with their ranking going into the final determined by their best score.