Australian Olympians Matt Graham (NSWIS) and Jakara Anthony (NSWIS) have won Men’s and Women’s Moguls World Championships silver medals in Deer Valley, Utah.
On the one-year anniversary of the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony, it marks the first World Championships podiums for both athletes, after the pair were the top placed Aussies at last year’s Olympic Winter Games.
Continuing her season-best form, 20-year-old Anthony sailed through the qualifiers and Final 1 in first place.
The six athletes in Final 2, also known as the Super Final, held their breath at the bottom of the hill after Anthony’s final run, knowing the scores would be tight for the top of the dais.
Anthony’s run of 78.99 in Final 2 sealed the silver medal for Australia, only 0.15 off the winner, Yulia Galysheva from Kazakhstan.
France’s Perrine Laffont rounded out the podium in third, with a top score of 78.70.
Anthony, who placed fourth on debut at PyeongChang, said it was really special to win her first World Championships medal in front of her family and friends.
“It’s been an incredible night,” she said.
“Deer Valley is such a special event, skiing under the lights, and I had my whole family and a massive Australian crew here watching. To get up on the podium, I’m really happy with how I went tonight.”
Dual Olympian Graham has 15 World Cup podiums and an Olympic silver medal to his name, but was finally able to add a World Championships medal to his collection today.
The 24-year-old qualified for the Super Final in second place. His run of 81.64 was only bested by PyeongChang gold medallist, Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury, the most successful Mogul skier of all time, who won his third World Championships title with a massive score of 84.89.
Japan’s Daichi Hara finished in third on 81.64.
After unpredictable conditions earlier in the week, Graham was thrilled to finally add World Championships hardware to his impressive collection.
“Wow what a night, this week has been a rollercoaster!” he said.
“The course has been so hard with a lot of snow earlier in the week, so I’m really happy that it all came together tonight.
“I found a groove and I think I was absorbing up to my chin on some of those moguls they were so big. But I’m really happy with the way I skied, and I feel a sense of closure.
“I skied really fast in the Super Final, probably a little faster than I wanted which caused a couple of mistakes which might have cost me the win. But credit to Mik [Kingsbury], he’s skiing really well and having an amazing season like always.”
In other Aussie results, Sochi 2014 Olympian Taylah O’Neill (NSWIS) was the second placed Aussie in the women’s event, placing 13th with a score of 64.68, while 22-year-old Sophie Ash (NSWIS) finished 15th in her World Championships debut with a run of 59.18.
Claudia Gueli (NSWIS) placed 19th and three-time Olympian Britt Cox (NSWIS) placed 20th, before jumping into the commentary box to commentate on both the men’s and women’s finals.
PyeongChang Olympian Rohan Chapman-Davies finished 14th with a run of 70.47, with Brodie Summers (NSWIS) 27th and James Matheson (NSWIS) 30th.
Celebrations for the Aussie Mogul Team will be short lived for now, as the Team all return to the mountain tomorrow for the Dual Moguls World Championship event. Qualifiers kick off on Sunday 10 February at 10.30am AEDT, before the finals are again under lights from 1pm.