10 sporting highlights from January 2017
31 January 2017
AOC: 2017 started with a bang!
Winter athletes competing in the Northern Hemisphere recorded some of the best Australian results in history.
While on home soil, Olympians added National Championship titles to their resume and crowds flocked to some of the biggest sporting events of the year.
Here are 10 sporting highlights from January 2017:
1. Two time Olympic medallist Jess Fox once again proved she is top of her game when she won gold in both the women’s K1 and C1 event at the National Canoe Slalom Championships in Penrith on January 13. Fox then won gold again in both the K1 and C1 event at the Oceania Championships in Auckland on the last weekend of January.
2. Moguls superstar Britt Cox won another two World Cup gold medals. She won gold at the Lake Placid World Cup on the 13th of January, and won gold again at the Calagary World Cup last weekend. Cox has now won three out of four events in the 2016/17 Moguls World Cup season. Her victory last weekend was an extra special occasion for Australia as Cox’s training partner Matt Graham also won gold and in doing so the pair made history as the first two Australians to stand on top of the moguls world cup podium at the same event.
3. After winning silver on two previous occasions, Richie Porte won the 2017 Tour Down Under crown by an impressive margin. It was Porte’s first race back after breaking his shoulder blade five months ago in the Olympic Games road race.
4. Dual Olympian Scotty James won gold at the X Games in Aspen. The 2016 SuperPipe bronze medallist was the only Australian invited to attend this year's Games, and at his sixth X Games appearance he snagged SuperPipe gold with a spectacular 90-point performance on the very first run of the entire competition – 10 points ahead of USA’s Matt Ladley in silver.
5. It was revealed Australian athletes held the strongest position in World Athletics Rankings since 2006, with 11 Aussies holding global top-10 positions in their chosen events. The successful Aussies were headlined by 2012 Olympic Champion Jared Tallent, who was ranked second in the world for the 50km walk, and Rio 2016 bronze medallist Dane Bird-Smith who is in third position for the mens’ 20km walk.
6. Rohan Dennis and Katrin Garfoot both defended their national time trial titles for the second year in a row at the 2017 Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat. Garfoot then went on to win the national women’s road race. While in the first week of his professional career, Miles Scotson won the men’s road race.
7. Danielle Scott won silver at the Lake Placid Aerial Skiing World Cup on the 15th of January, and in doing so moved into the outright World Number One ranking position.
8. Athletics Australia announced the team for the highly anticipated Nitro Athletics series. The selected athletes will have the opportunity to take on eight-time Olympic Champion Usain Bolt and the Bolt All-Stars team. The team is headlined by Olympians and Olympic finalists including Ryan Gregson, Morgan Mitchell, Genevieve LaCaze, Fabrice Lapierre, Brooke Stratton, Kathryn Mitchell and Michelle Jenneke, and features a number of young guns and rising stars. This Saturday (February 4th) will see the opening night of Nitro Athletics at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium.
9. Dual Olympic medallist Lydia Lasilla returned to competition for the first time since the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. The four-time Olympian made her return at the Lake Placid Aerials World Cup where she placed sixth.
10. 22 Australian Olympic medalist were included on the 2017 Australia Day Honours List. Three-time Olympic medallist and debuty chair for the AOC Athlete’s Commission Kim Brennan was awarded the Order of Australia (AM). The Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens Team, a number of gold-medal winning swimmers, shooter Catherine Skinner and Sailor Tom Burton all received the medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).