Ayumu Hirano came second and his younger brother Kaishu Hirano third in the X Games men's snowboard halfpipe Friday, an encouraging sign ahead of next month's Beijing Winter Olympics.

Ayumu, the 2014 and 2018 Olympic silver medalist and this season's World Cup winner, landed his new trademark, the triple cork 1440, in his last run, a month after he became the first to pull it off in competition.

Japanese snowboarder Ayumu Hirano competes in the X Games' men's snowboard halfpipe competition at Aspen, Colorado, on Jan. 22, 2022. (Kyodo)

Scotty James of Australia won the event, Ayumu failing to come from behind due to a fall. But the 23-year-old was still pleased, because of the execution of his signature trick.

"Regarding that one trick, I nailed it absolutely positively perfectly," said Hirano, who was not planning to try it because freshly fallen snow made it hard to get enough speed.

"I nailed it more perfectly than I have in training. My confidence for the trick went up a level."

Kaishu said seeing his brother nail it in poor conditions gave him goosebumps, but the 19-year-old also stunned the crowd on his X Games debut with his own trademark soaring tricks, achieving 6 meters in height.

"It's always been my dream to stand at this stage. It was great I could show off my style, and my kind of ride with a bang," Kaishu said. "The fact that I got a medal hasn't sunk in yet, though."

"I'm really happy (to share the podium), my brother's presence is enormous for me. You can't express yourself if you haven't got confidence. I'm hopeful I can do well at the Olympics, too."

Ayumu Hirano (L) and his younger brother Kaishu Hirano pose for a photo after coming second and third, respectively, in the X Games men's snowboard halfpipe on Jan. 21, 2022, in Aspen, Colorado. (Kyodo)

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