Jakara Anthony has continued her breathtaking start to the freestyle skiing season, with Australia’s sole winter Olympic champion once again proving far too good for her World Cup moguls rivals.
- Anthony claimed victory in a third straight week after triumphs in Finland and Sweden
- The Victorian extended her World Cup points tally to 350, to move 70 ahead of her nearest rival
- In the men’s competition, Australian Olympic medallist Matt Graham finished seventh
On the fabled Tour de France mountain of Alpe d’Huez, it wasn’t the yellow jersey that the brilliant Australian was protecting but the yellow bib that signifies the overall World Cup leader in her winter discipline.
For the third straight week, after triumphs in Ruka, Finland and Idre Fjall, Sweden, Anthony was in a class of her own as she landed her hat-trick of titles by a substantial margin to extend her lead in both the moguls and overall moguls standings.
Her mastery of the turns and the quality of her jumps meant she crushed her nearest challenger, home favourite Perrine Laffont, by nearly four points as she ended up amassing 79.70 points.
Laffont compiled 75.81 for second place, while American Elizabeth Lemley was third on 74.75.
Anthony was not as fast on her final run as Laffont and the speedy Lemley, but the judges scored her turns and dominant tricks as more than two points superior to her rivals.
Now the 24-year-old from Barwon Heads in Victoria will be out to score a weekend double in the dual moguls at the French resort in her last event of the year.
She extended her overall World Cup points tally to 350, to move 70 ahead of Laffont and 109 clear of Lemley, with eight rounds still left in a season that will end in Kazakhstan in March.
In the men’s event, Anthony’s teammate, double world silver medallist Matt Graham could only end up seventh after his impressive qualifying outing, as Japan’s Ikuma Horishima topped the men’s podium for his first win of the season.
It leaves Graham fifth in the overall standings with Canadian great Mikael Kingsbury leading the way.
Hopes of a second Australian World Cup gold on Friday in the women’s snowboard cross final failed to materialise as Belle Brockhoff finished fourth and last in the final in Cervinia, Italy, just missing out on the podium as Chloe Trespeuch took the gold.
Josie Baff, the 19-year-old rising Aussie star who won her first World Cup title nine days ago in France, this time didn’t make the final as she could only finish third in her quarterfinal race and has now been supplanted at the top of the World Cup standings by Trespeuch.