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Anderson Defends Olympic Snowboard Slopestyle Title

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Jamie Anderson celebrates after winning her second consecutive slopestyle gold medal. Photo: AP

The United States’ Jamie Anderson retained her Olympic slopestyle snowboarding title amid difficult conditions at Pyeongchang 2018.

Anderson’s first-run score of 83.00 points proved to be enough for victory at the Phoenix Park.

She becomes the first woman to win two Olympic gold medals in snowboard.

“I’m feeling so happy,” Anderson said.

“I’ve gone through so much this last year just preparing for the Games and defending the gold is definitely not an easy position to be in.

“I had a lot of pressure and I’m just so proud of myself.

“It was really tough conditions today and a lot of people were struggling.”

World champion Laurie Blouin of Canada finished second with 76.33 points, while Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi, the Sochi 2014 silver medalist, came third with 75.38.

Anderson had a 9.09-point lead over nearest challenger Silje Norendal of Norway after the first run, while compatriot Jessika Jenson was a further 1.65 behind.

Neither Norendal nor Jenson improved on their first-run scores and finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Victory for Anderson was confirmed when team-mate Julia Marino, the last competitors to have the opportunity to better her score, fell short of the leading mark.

Anderson was asked if she wanted to take her second run and the 27-year-old opted to do so.

Her score of 34.56 points was inconsequential.

Owing to bad weather conditions and strong winds in Pyeongchang, the snowboarders competed in two runs rather than the normal three.

The best score of the two runs counted.

Many of the snowboarders fell on the second run as conditions worsened.

Australian snowboarder Tess Coady took to social media to blame the wind for the injury she suffered during practice for qualifying yesterday.

“[I] got picked up in the wind on the bottom jump in practice and my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) was not a big fan!” Coady wrote in an Instagram post.

Pyeongchang 2018’s chief spokesperson Sung Baik-you said earlier today that the windy conditions, which also caused the scheduled women’s giant slalom event to be postponed until Thursday (February 15), would continue through to Wednesday (February 14).

“The temperature in the mountains is minus 15 to minus 25 degrees celsius,” he told reporters at a media briefing.

“The wind speed is five to 10 metres per second and it is making competitions very difficult.”

By Daniel Etchells

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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