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Ash and Anthony on song in Sapporo

26 February 2017

FREESTYLE SKIING: Sophie Ash and Jakara Anthony have delivered Australia another two strong Asian Winter Games results, finishing fifth and sixth respectively in the women’s moguls.

The pair set themselves up for a shot at the podium after producing consistent runs through qualifying and the first final.

Ash’s qualifying run received a score of 74.70, ranking her second for the round of 10 where she scored 75.86.

“Really exciting to qualify second, I was hoping for a top three result (in qualifying) so I was really happy,” Ash said.

Ash’s final run scored 69.20 for overall fifth place.

“The bottom air was a weak part of the run, I feel I didn’t hit it very well today,” Ash said.

“I had a few runs where I hit it well so I knew I could do it so it was a bit frustrating for the final run,” she said.

Anthony’s path to the final included a 74.70 in qualifying and 77.52 in the round of 10.

In the final the 18-year-old scored 68.29.

“Pretty happy with all my runs,” Anthony said.

“They were consistent and got progressively better throughout the day.

“I picked up the speed but unfortunately it wasn’t enough in the end.”

Anthony has found the Asian Winter Games an invaluable learning experience.

“For me these Games were about getting the experience at a big profile event so that I will have experienced something similar to the Olympics if I get to go.”

In the men’s event, Aussies Cooper Woods-Topalovic and Ben Matsumoto narrowly missed qualifying for the round of 10, finishing in 11th and 12th respectively.

The pair were among the youngest in the 19 strong field, which was largely comprised of World Cup skiers.

Woods-Topalovic’s score of 76.61 missed qualification by the smallest of margins, with the 10th placed skier, Korea’s Myung-Joon Seo qualifying through in 76.81.

“I had quite a good run but I didn’t land my bottom air, I got deducted a couple of points on that but still happy with my overall performance and so were my coaches,” Woods-Topalovic said.

“There are still a couple of mistakes that need to be worked on.”

Matsumoto was also happy with his qualification run for which he received a score of 66.50.

“It felt better than Friday in the Dual Moguls,” Matsumoto said.

“I’ve never been to a competition nearly as big as this. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve learned a lot,” he said.

The Asain Winter Games wrap up today and the athletes are looking forward to tonight's Closing Ceremony.

Michelle Cook


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