Jamie Anderson confirms status as best slopestyle athlete with Olympic Gold
The second day of the XXII Olympic Winter Games provided another spectacular day in snowboard history.
Not only because the first ever ladies' slopestyle event went down at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park some 45 minutes away from Sochi with Jamie Anderson (USA) earning Gold with 95.25 for her clean and safe second run.
But also because Jenny Jones brought home the first ever British medal at Winter Olympics placing third today and Sina Candrian landing the first ever frontside 1080 in a women's contest.
But let's take one thing at a time.
Once again, the day kicked off with the semis where the last four spots to the finals were awarded to Sarka Pancochova (CZE), Sina Candrian (SUI), Jenny Jones (GBR) and Silje Norendal (NOR).
With the field of the best 12 finally completed, it was time to deliver for the girls in front of the super packed stances at the bottom of the course which consisted of a three-feature jibbing section and a three-jump kicker line at the end.
But just like yesterday when the men competed in their slopestyle finals, some of the big names in business (Norendal, O Brien, Maas, Gasser and Bright) felt some Olympic pressure on their shoulders stumbling in the finals thus getting penalized by the judges who were obviously looking for clean landings while awarding style over spins again.
In the end it was Jamie Anderson who had found the perfect match in her second run.
The 23-year-old lived up to the expectation as odds-on favourite for a medal impressing with a gap to noseslide, 50/50 backside 180, cab 180 to back 180 off the canon to a cab 720 and a switch backside 540 on the first and second kicker while finishing things off with a massive frontside 720.
"At the top I felt nauseous and I felt sick. I thought 'let's go through what I'm more consistent with' and oh my God it paid off," Anderson said after her 'safety-run', adding that she felt a lot of mental and physical pressure to do well. "I just want to break down right now and cry."
Anderson relegated Enni Rukajarvi (FIN) who sat on the hot seat for quite a while to the second spot.
The Finnish ripper had stomped a smooth run which included a gap to 50/50, 50/50, backside boardslide and a backside 360 in the jibbing section and a frontside 720 to backside 540 and a stylish cab 720 on the kicker line thus being awarded with 92.50.
"I can't believe it. I kind of gave up already. I didn't think I could get a medal because I haven't been able to ride that much because my right knee has been injured," Rukajarvi told the Olympic News Service.
While the first two spots were an easy call, it was a tight one for the Bronze with Jenny Jones coming out successfully bringing home the first ever medal from Olympic Winter Games for her home country.
The British styler got 87.25 for her gap to 50/50, 50/50 front 180 to switch boardslide to regular, 50/50 frontside 180 off the cannon to cab 540 to back 360 and a final frontside 720.
She thus edged off Sina Candrian (SUI) out of the top-3, who had brought down a clean run in the rail section and some impressive jumps including the first ever frontside 1080 in a women's contest.
But a slight touch to the ground with her hand at the landing placed her just .25, the smallest possible deficit, behind of Jones and thus out of the podium spots.
After realising that she had won a medal, Jones, who had suffered a concussion in December, said: "Honestly I was a bit of a mess. And to go from there to here ... don't make me cry.” Struggling to hold back the tears she added: "I'm so pleased."
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