10 highlights of February 2017
28 February 2017
AOC: February 2017 was a history-making month for Australian athletes around the globe. Winter athletes cemented their place on the international stage, records were broken, medals were won and world-class events debuted on Australian soil.
Take a look at 10 highlights from the past month.
1. Britt Cox won 6 World Cup medals and took out the overall series title.
The sensational Britt Cox won four gold and two bronze medals at Moguls World Cup events in the month of February!
Her gold medal victories came in Thaiwoo,Tazawako, in PyeongChang for the Olympic Test Event, and in Deer Park. Cox’s lead on the world rankings was so great, she had secured the overall Women’s Moguls World Cup series crown before the final two events in Thaiwoo, China.
However her gold in the dual moguls and bronze in the single moguls at the final World Cup secured Cox the Crystal Globe as the overall FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup Champion. She ended the World Cup season with seven gold medals, two bronze and two other top-10 finishes, making her the most successful Australian female moguls skier in history.
Watch her final World Cup gold medal race for the season:
2. Scotty James wins the FIS Snowboard Halfpipe Crystal Globe
The current World Champion and X Games gold medallist, Scotty James added the overall FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup series title to his resume in February.
James entered the final World Cup event, which doubled as the Olympic Test Event in PyeongChang, in second place on the overall leader board. After a rough start in the final, he put down the “run of his life” in his third and final run to take out the individual event. His victory elevated him to first on the overall world ranking leader board and he brought home the coveted Crystal Globe.
You can watch the highlights from the PyeongChang Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup event below, inclduing James's gold-medal winning performance.
3. Nitro Athletics
Usain Bolt led his All-Stars team to victory in the inaugural Nitro Athletics Series in Melbourne. The event ran over three nights with athletes from Australia, England, China, Japan, New Zealand and a combined International All-Stars team competing in front of sell-out Lakeside stadium crowd.
The innovative track and field competition was a huge hit with the athletes and spectators alike, and many agreed they loom forward to more events like this in the future.
4. Chumpy and Hughes went 1 and 2 on World Cup podium
Two-time World Champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin won gold at the Feldberg Snowboard Cross World Cup in Germany. In a dramatic race, silver was won by fellow Aussie Jarryd Hughes and it was the first time Australia had a one/two finish on the Snowboard Cross World Tour. Chumpy’s win marked his seventh World Cup victory.
5.Walkers secured their tickets to the World Championships
Dane Bird-Smith and Regan Lamble both won gold at the Oceania and Australian 20km Race Walking Championships in Adelaide to secure their start at the IAFF London World Championships in August.
Bird-Smith successfully defended his national title in a time of 1:19.37, which equaled his personal best and earnt him priority selection for London 2017. Lamble won her first national title in a time of 1:29.58 to secure her spot on the starting line.
Rhydian Cowley and Beki Smith were discretionarily selected after achieving the qualifying standards when they both won silver in Adelaide.
6. Two gold medals for comeback queen Lassila
In only her second event since winning bronze at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, Lydia Lassila won gold at the Deer Valley Aerials World Cup in Utah on February 4.
Two events later, she won her second gold of the season in Minsk, Belarus. Lassila’s was joined on her second podium for the season by fellow Aussie Danielle Scott, who won silver and regained her yellow leaders bib as the top ranked aerials skier. Lassila was elevated to third on the overall leaderboard with one World Cup event remaining this weekend (March 4).
Watch the highlights from the Minsk World Cup below, where our Aussies finished one/two.
7. Melbourne Gymnastics World Cup
The inaugural Melbourne Gymnastics World Cup ran from 22-25 February. It was the first time a world-class gymnastics tournament has been on Australian soil since 2005.
London Olympian Emily Little dominated for Australia, winning three medals across the competition; gold in Floor, silver in Vault and bronze in Beam. Other highlights for our Aussie athletes included Georgia Godwin claiming silver in Floor behind Little, Christopher Remkes and Mitchell Morgans winning silver in the Vault and High Bar respectively, and Naomi Lee and Rianna Mizzen winning bronze in the Vault and Bars respectively.
Highlights from the four-day event can be viewed below.
PyeongChang hopeful athletes celebrated one year until the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 9. “We’re exactly where we want to be a year out from the Games,” Australian Winter Olympic Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said.
9. Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games
A team of 30 athletes competed for Australia at the Asian Winter Games for the very first time. The athletes arrived in Sapporo to an official welcome ceremony, before they were led by flag bearer Deanna Lockett into the spectacular Sapporo Dome under the Australian banner at the official Opening Ceremony. Casey Wright recorded Australia’s top result of the competition with third in the women's 1.4km cross country skiing sprint. Find out how all the Aussies performed in Japan HERE.
10. Willett wins shooting gold
Rio 2016 Olympian James Willett won gold in the men’s Double Trap at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, India. His gold-medal winning score of 75 also set a new men’s Double Trap World Record.