Snowboarder Hirano ready to express himself at Beijing Games

5.Snowboarder Hirano ready to express himself at Beijing Games
(Photo: Ayumu Hiran’s Facebook)
TOKYO — Japanese snowboarder Ayumu Hirano said Tuesday he wants to "express" himself and "have no regrets" at next month's Beijing Olympics as he prepares to resume his rivalry with American legend Shaun White.اضافة اعلان

Hirano finished second behind three-time halfpipe gold medalist White in an epic encounter at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, giving the Japanese rider silver for the second Games running.

Now the dreadlocked 23-year-old is aiming for the top prize in Beijing, after becoming the first rider to land the ultra-difficult triple cork trick in competition this season.

"I want to have no regrets and make sure I give it everything I've got," said Hirano, who also competed in skateboarding at last year's Tokyo Summer Olympics.

"I want to give a performance I can be happy with and express myself. I want to express myself in a way that only I can."

White will be competing at his final Olympics after making the American team at the age of 35.

He edged Hirano after an absorbing duel four years ago in Pyeongchang, and the Japanese rider said he is "looking forward to locking horns" with his rival again.

"In Pyeongchang, there was a lot of drama -- when you're up against someone it spurs you on, and I think that came across," he said.

"He likes a challenge, and I feel there are similarities between us in the way we feel and see things."

Hirano finished second behind Australian Scotty James at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, last weekend.

He landed his triple cork but failed to complete his next jump.

Hirano's younger brother Kaishu, who will also compete for Japan at the Beijing Games, took bronze.

"It's a very precious thing to be able to go to the Olympics with your brother," said the elder Hirano.

"It will be a good experience for him and I hope he gives it his all and does himself justice."

Read more Sports