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JAK-POT! Anthony delivers Australia's first gold medal of Beijing Olympics

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6th February, 2022
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Jakara Anthony has won Australia’s first gold medal of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, and the sixth of all time, in the women’s moguls to become an Olympic champion.

Anthony, the 2019 World championship silver medallist, who came in as a leading favourite after a stellar lead up campaign qualified first for the final and held her nerve in Zhangjiakou

Her score of 83.09 took her past the US’s Jaelin Kauf on the final run, nailing gold with a final run in a time of 27 seconds, with a 720 grab on the first jump and a flip on the second.

Anthony, 23 from Barwon Heads, was a surprising fourth four years ago.

She won back-to-back medals at World Cup events in the US that took her to third in the women’s world cup standings.

“It’s been really tough and it’s put a lot of challenges in the last few years,” Anthony said on Friday night. “So to finally have made it here and get to compete is really special.”

Britt Cox, competing at her fourth Games, was 14th and Sophie Ash was 16th.

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Earlier Tess Coady secured Australia’s first medal.

The 21-year old, who missed the last Winter Olympics in PyeongChang after tearing her ACL on a practice run, claimed bronze in the women’s slopestyle snowboarding event, scoring an excellent 82.68 on her first run, before improving to an 84.15 on her third and final attempt.

In the same event, Zoi Sadowski-Synott became New Zealand’s first Winter Olympics gold medallist with a score of 92.88. USA athlete Julia Marino won silver with a score of 87.68.

“That was so insane! I’m dying,” an emotional Coady said in an interview with Channel Seven shortly after securing the medal.

“Making it to a finals is always a win in my book. Last night, I was chatting to a friend, and he said to me that I’ve finally earned my ticket to freedom with the last four years. I really just took that mentality today.

“I’m just going to send it, nothing to lose, I came back and got my redemption yesterday, and today I wanted to have the best time, enjoy it the most, and just send it!”

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Coady’s final run prompted a nervous wait to see if her points could be overtaken by a strong field of competitors; when it proved to be enough, even Seven commentators Jason Richardson and Lydia Lassila couldn’t hold in their delight.

Lassila, a former Winter Olympics representative in the skiing events herself, was particularly overcome by Coady’s success.

“I’ve got a big lump in my throat and Lydia’s got tears running down her cheek,” Richardson said afterwards.

“That is the nature of the winter Olympic Games.”

As the eighth-ranked finalist in a field of twelve, Coady appeared a massive outsider heading into Sunday’s decider.

But despite a frustrating second run where she was knocked off top spot on the leaderboards after failing to complete, her class told in her final run, to fall narrowly short of a silver medal.

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Adding to the emotion of the victory is Coady’s pre-Olympics tribute to Australian snowboarding legend Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, who tragically lost his life at just 32 in 2020.

In a heartfelt Instagram post in January, Coady shared a video detailing her connection to Pullin, dating back to when she was only 11 years old.

“It was the moment I knew I wanted to be a snowboarder,” she said of the meeting.

“He encouraged me to chase my dream, and helped teach me that snowboarding is about more than just talent – it’s about resilience, remaining confident, and bouncing back.

“Tapping into the little part of you that says ‘you’ve got this’, even when you feel like you’ve reached your limit.”

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