Australian mogul skiers Matt Graham and Jakara Anthony have recorded an incredible double gold medal performance at the World Cup event in Deer Valley, USA, becoming the second Australian pair to achieve victory on the same day.
For Graham, the result is even more special, as it’s his first victory in the single moguls discipline since Calgary in 2017, fittingly the last time Australia claimed victory in both events, when he did so with World Champion four-time Olympian Britt Cox.
Graham qualified for finals in third place, and then stepped it up in finals scoring 81.27 in the first round of finals to advance to the super-final medal round in first place.
In the super-final, Graham put down an incredible run to score a huge 85.35 on the steep and difficult course, to finish ahead of Mikael Kingsbury of Canada with 83.65 points with Frenchman Benjamin Cavet of France rounding out the podium with 81.82 in third.
“It’s a surreal feeling, I went back-to-back with Britt Cox in 2017 in Calgary, and now to get the back-to-back wins with Jakara is super special,” said the 28-year-old Olympic silver medallist from the NSW Central Coast.
“It was a tough long day today, the course was eating people all day, I was just happy to find my line and rip it each run.”
“I was having so much fun here at Deer Valley, I love this event, had my first ever win here in 2016 so it’s good to be back up here and stand on top of the podium.”
The victory is the fourth of Graham’s career and his 20th World Cup podium.
2022 Olympic Champion Anthony headed into the event with the yellow leaders bib and continued her strong form throughout the event, recording the eighth World Cup victory of her career with a score in the super-final of 80.15 points.
In second place was American Jaelin Kauf with a score of 77.17 with Perrine Laffont of France in third with 77.17.
Anthony was thrilled to share the victory with her teammate.
“It’s incredible, the last time was Matt and Britt Cox, so to take that top step with Matt, who I have taken a second place with before and to now take the top step is absolutely incredible and he ripped out there, his run was phenomenal.”
After five events the 24-year-old from Barwon Heads in Victoria is in first place on the World Cup standings with 480 points, 150 points ahead of Laffont of France. Anthony now has an unassailable lead in the season rankings with only one event left in early March.
The victory sees Graham move into third on the standings with 276 points, with Canadian Kingsbury in the lead with 440.
Also in action for Australia was Jackson Harvey in 14th, George Murphy in a personal best finish of 20th with Cooper Woods unfortunately not finishing his qualifying run.
Tomorrow it’s the aerial skiers turn to compete in Deer Valley, with the mogul skiers back in action the following day taking part in the dual moguls.