Jakara Anthony has powered to her fifth World Cup freestyle skiing crown in the space of just 20 days as Australia’s Olympic champion continued to demonstrate she’s in a league of her own in the moguls.
The 25-year-old won her fourth consecutive World Cup moguls since the start of December at the Georgian resort of Bakuriani and, with last week’s double moguls triumph under her belt in France too, the Victorian star continues to be one of the most dominant figures on the global stage of winter sports.
Once again, in what has become a familiar sweep this month, Anthony, unbeaten in her first three moguls in Finland, Sweden and the iconic Alpe d’Huez in France, came out on top in qualifying, on her first run and also in the six-woman super final on Friday.
Japanese Rino Yanagimoto had laid down what had looked a considerable challenge with a final run that scored 77.10, but Anthony, cool as ever under pressure, delivered easily the quickest final run and, according to the judges, by far the best turns, scoring 79.08 for her fifth win in just six events this season.
“Man, it’s been amazing, it’s been a really big month,” said a delighted Anthony.
“We’re six starts down with one to go, so I’m really happy I’m able to ski at such a high quality level and put my runs down.
“All the other chicks are too! It’s really cool out there.”
The latest win stretches defending champion Anthony’s World Cup lead in the single-format moguls, where she has a perfect season’s record, to a massive 150 points over nearest challenger Yanagimoto.
In the overall moguls, which also features results from the head-to-head dual moguls competitions, she’s even further clear, with a yawning 194 point advantage over Yanagimoto.
The athlete from Barwon Heads has a chance to increase her lead further on Saturday when she competes in her last event of the year, a dual moguls, on the same Bakuriani slopes where she suffered a disappointing world championships in February.
Since then, though, it has become an increasingly forlorn task for her rivals to match Anthony, especially in the absence from the circuit of the two skiers who’ve been her biggest challengers in recent years, Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont and Japan’s Anri Kawamura.
In the men’s moguls, Australian Cooper Woods finished 10th (71.18) behind Japanese winner Ikuma Horoshima (77.11).