Hirano accepts barely missing gold

​PYEONGCHANG ((The Japan News/ANN) - The gold medal he had sought for four years slipped away at the last moment, but Ayumu Hirano accepted it calmly. 

 The 19-year-old settled for silver in the men’s snowboard halfpipe at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Wednesday at Phoenix Snow Park, the same color he won four years ago in Sochi.
 

“I’ve practiced over these past four years aiming for a better result,” Hirano said. “I still feel disappointed, but I did the best I could. I enjoyed it.”
 Hirano scored 95.25 points in his second run, a figure that stood as the top number until U.S. superstar Shaun White put up a 97.75 in his third run as the final competitor.
 

There was a collective sigh among the Japanese fans after White’s score appeared on the board. “Hirano performed well. Hats off to White,” said Mamoru Uno of Kobe. “I think [Hirano] did well under a lot of pressure,” added Uno, 49, who wore a headband emblazoned with the slogan “victory.”

 Haruto Amino, 8, couldn’t help but cry after White bumped Hirano out of the top spot. “I’m so disappointed,” said Amino, who came from Tokyo with his mother. “Hirano was so cool, and I wanted him to win the gold medal.”

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