Winter wrap: more Moguls medals and a best-ever Cross Country World Champs result
25 February 2019
WINTER SPORTS: Australian ski and snowboard riders were out in force this weekend, continuing to impress across World Championships and World Cup events.
It was the penultimate stop of the 2018/19 FIS Freestyle Ski Moguls World Cup season in Tazawako, Japan over the weekend.
Olympians Jakara Anthony and Matt Graham appeared across four events with Anthony achieving podiums in both her events and Graham finishing inside the top 8 for his two races.
On Saturday, Jakara Anthony secured her third straight spot on the World Cup podium with a silver medal performance in the single moguls, while Graham finished 7th.
Following the single moguls, on Sunday the season’s second dual moguls competition saw Anthony claim bronze with Graham just missing out on the podium in his small final, finishing in fourth place.
Anthony was ecstatic with her podium appearances.
“I’m really happy to take back to back podiums here in Japan. I was really happy with my skiing today I was backing it up from yesterday and putting down some really clean runs," Anthony said.
“Unfortunately in the semi-final I had a little slip up which put me into the small final which meant I didn’t get a chance to ski again but I still came away with a bronze medal and couldn’t be happier.
With Anthony currently ranked second in the overall World Cup standings, and Graham ranked 5th, Tazawako marked the end of the Winter World Cup season for the pair, with the Australian program electing to not compete in next weekend's final World Cups in Kazakhstan.
In further Aussie winter weekend success, the FIS Freestyle Aerials World Cup was held in the Belarus capital of Minsk, which saw the duo of Laura Peel and Abbey Willcox finish with a bronze medal for team Australia in Sunday's syncro event.
During the previous day, both Peel and Willcox went go head to head with the world’s best in individual competition, with Peel finishing 11th and Wilcox 13th. Peel said she was disappointed to not put down the jump she's hoped for in the finals.
“I am a bit disappointed about the result. I jumped well in qualifications, but unfortunately had a bit of trouble landing in finals," she said.
Aussie coach David Morris was satisfied with solid performances by the pair considering their preparation.
“Laura and Abbey both jumped very well given they had very little training leading into the competition day.
"As a coaching group we are very impressed they were able to perform so well after being sick leading into the event,” he said.
With two World Cup events remaining this weekend in China, Peel is currently in fourth place on the Ladies Aerial World Cup standings.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
The 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria saw our Aussies perform strongly on snow, with the Sprint Free finals showcasing seven national skiers.
In a standout result, Olympian Jessica Yeaton achieved 22nd place in the Skiathlon over the weekend - the highest ever result by an Australian at a Nordic World Championships.
"I'm beyond stoked to reach a big goal of mine and crack the top 30 in the Skiathlon World Champs,” Yeaton said on social media.
Other Cross Country results included:
Ladies 1.2km Sprint Free Finals
Jessica Yeaton, 38th
Babara Jezersek, 69th
Aimee Watson, 71st
Katerina Paul, 72nd
Men’s 1.6km Sprint Free Finals results
Phillip Bellingham, 64th
Seve de Campo, 78th
Mark Pollock, 89th
Ladies Skiathlon final results
Jessica Yeaton, 22nd
Aimee Watson, 55th
Next up our Aussies will be looking to continue their strong form in the 10km/15km Classic and 30km/50km Freestyle Mass Start races.
To view the official event website - click here.
Dual Olympian Sami Kennedy-Sim has finished her 2018/2019 FIS Ski Cross World Cup season with two quarter final appearances in Sunny Valley, Russia.
With back to back races over the weekend, Kennedy-Sim finished 16th in her first race on Saturday. She then went on to improve her position by two places on Sunday with a 14th place.
After the races Kennedy-Sim said on Instagram she was looking forward to regrouping for the next season back in Australia.
“Not my best racing in Sunny Valley this weekend, actually not my best season.
“Looking forward to some sun at home and making a solid plan to have a chance at the crown again next year,” she said.