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2018 Wrap Up: May's history makers

13 December 2018

AOC: The month of May was action packed for your Australian Olympians, with world-first achievements, medals galore and a curious case of a kidnapped canoe!

Winter Olympians were honoured in May for their outstanding achievements throughout the season and at PyeongChang 2018. 

Olympic silver medallists Matt Graham and Jarryd Hughes took out the Snowsport Athlete of the Year at the Ski and Snowboard Australia awards.

On top of his 2018 Winter Olympics success, Graham also consistently podiumed on the World Cup Circuit placing third on three occasions and second once. It was the second time Graham had won the award, also taking it out in 2016.

PyeongChang Closing Ceremony Flag bearer Hughes, had also previously been awarded Boardercross Athlete of the Year in 2014.

Modern-Pentathlete and Olympic Champion, Chloe Esposito made history becoming the first Australian ever to win a Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Hungary.

Esposito started the final Laser-Run phase in 7th place, and just like her Rio 2016 performance, her dramatic shooting and running saw the 26-year-old take the victory by 4 seconds.

Beach Volleyballers Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar won their third World Tour gold medal at the Lucerne 3 Star.

The impressive duo ended up winding up their World Tour season with an incredible four gold medals, and all during their first season playing together.

World Champion surfer, Steph Gilmore made it her 28th Championship Tour victory when she won the Oi Rio Pro in Brazil.

Gilmore would later go on to equal Layne Beachley’s record of 7 World Championships titles as the most successful female surfer in history.

History was made by dual Olympic cyclist Amanda Spratt. Spratt won the Emakumeen Bira Tour, making her the first Australian to do so in the 30-year history of the Spanish Cycling Tour.  

In Sailing, the Aussies took on the Laser Senior European Championships with Matt Wearn claiming gold. Wearn was the first Australian to take out the title since Tom Slingsby in 2008. 

Australia’s paddlers claimed a swag of medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg, Germany. Alyssa Bull took out gold while Alyce Burnett, Riley Fitzsimmons, Jordan Wood and Cat McArthur all won bronze. 

In other news for paddling, World Champ Jess Fox had her custom-built canoe stolen from a training facility in Penrith. Fox reached out to social media for their help in locating the kidnapped canoe.

In a happy turn of events, Fox’s canoe was returned to her unharmed and ready to help her go on to become the most successful paddler in the world.
Liana Buratti

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