Triple gold and a bronze for Australia in FIS World Cup events

Jakara Anthony, Josie Baff, Danielle Scott, Matt Graham.

What a start to the FIS World Cup Freestyle and Snowboard season for Australia’s snowsport athletes with three golds and a bronze across moguls, aerials and boarder cross.

Mogul skier, 2022 Olympic Gold Medallist and Crystal Globe winner, Jakara Anthony, earned the highest turn and air points in the women’s super final in Ruka, Finland to claim the fifth World Cup gold victory of her career. The  24-year-old from Barwon Heads in Victoria secured a huge score of 81.69, more than 3 points ahead of second place.

“It’s my first win in Ruka ever,” Anthony said after stepping off the Ruka Podium.

“To kick off the season with the win and the yellow bib is pretty massive. You come into the first event and you don’t know what everyone’s been doing since last season, so it’s exciting to come out and see what everyone can do and show off what you’re capable of.”

 

In the men’s moguls event also in Ruka, 2018 Olympic Silver Medallist Matt Graham bounced back strongly from his injury interrupted Olympic season, to record the 19th podium of his World Cup career.

“I was over the moon to be back here skiing Ruka and competing again so to come away with third place is kind of nice”, said the 28-year-old from the NSW Central Coast.

“It’s been a long 12 months for me, getting injured before the Olympics, and then not having the best Olympic experience, and during the off season spending a lot of time rehabbing my collarbone which I broke last year, and not able to train as much as I would normally, so it’s nice to come here and know that I have still got it.”

Australia’ Josie Baff made an incredible start to the World Cup season, winning gold in the opening snowboard cross event in Les Deux Alpes, France.

The podium performance is also the first of the 19-year-old teenagers’ career in just her eighth World Cup starts, becoming just the second Australian female snowboard cross rider to win a World Cup event.

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The Jindabyne local was in great form at the French resort, qualifying for finals in fourth place under sunny conditions. Heavy wind and snowfall then set in, with the event postponed 24 hours. Conditions improved slightly for the new competition day but was still difficult for all competitors.

Baff continued her fast riding into finals, winning her quarter final round and placing second in the semi final to reach the first big final medal round of her career.

In the big final, Baff had another great start and was in the top two for the first half of the course. Baff then made her move hitting the front and was able to fend off all challenges to cross the line in first place.

Aerial skier and three time Winter Olympian, Danielle Scott, led the field from qualifications through all finals to the big final where an immaculate double full-full gave her gold on the day and the yellow World Cup leader bib to launch her season.

“It’s been a really good day, I actually made it through each round in number one,” said Scott in her post race interview.

“This is what we love, and I love to jump!”

 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.