Owens and Segal grab bronze at X Games31 January 2012
Australian skiers Jenny Owens and Anna Segal have won bronze medals at the X Games in Aspen, USA. Dual Olympian Owens scorched the Ski Cross course and Segal the Slopestyle features, in the event that will make its Olympic debut as Sochi 2014.
Segal, who is the current FIS World Champion in Slopestyle, was in the gold medal position for most of the competition.
Her first of three runs over the five huge jumps and rails was a fantastic performance and scored 90.00. Her second run was also impressive but scored slightly less and she was unable to produce a clean third run.
American Devin Logan passed the Australian with her final 92.33 run before Canadian Kaya Turski won her third straight X Games title by landing a switch 1080 to thrill the crowd and judges.
In the men’s slopestyle ski event Russ Henshaw finished in fifth place, showing he is progressing well from his season ending injury at the end of the last international season.
Owens, who has four World Cup Ski Cross podium finishes to her name, grabbed third place behind Norwegian duo Marte Gjefsen and Hedda Berntsen in the invitation-only event for the world’s best winter sports athletes.
Owens' memorable day almost did not eventuate. Until just a few days ago, Owens was in two minds as to whether she would compete at the X Games.
Despite being one of the most prestigious events in the world, X Games is primarily designed for a world-wide television audience and uses aspects that are geared towards spectacular vision, sometimes at the expense of traditional qualities found at World Cup events.
Australian Institute of Sport ski cross program head coach Matt Lyons said that the AIS / NSWIS scholarship holder arrived at Aspen with mix feelings about whether the X Games track would be suitable for her to race on, given that she had surgery less than 12 months ago.
She was prepared to pull out of the X Games if she had any doubts about the track and its possible effect on the ankle that underwent surgery.
“After looking carefully at the track and watching other athletes on the course, she came to the conclusion that the designers had toned things down and were focusing more on racing this year,” Lyons said.
Owens’ teammate, Katya Crema finished 11th overall, after finishing the X Games consolation final in fifth place.
Torah Bright competing in her first event since winning gold at the Vancouver Olympics, finished seventh in the women’s halfpipe final. Samantha Wells finished an impressive fifth in the Aerials with Laura Peel twelfth.
Snowboard Cross World Champion Alex “Chumpy” Pullin again showed he is among the fastest riders in the world, qualifying in third place, but he then finished fourth in the first round of the finals group racing and did not progress further in the competition.
AOC with OWIA