Sochi 2014

Anderson takes slopestyle gold

American Jamie Anderson wins women's slopestyle gold as Jenny Jones secures Britain's first ever medal on snow.

Last updated: 09 Feb 2014 19:06
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Jamie Anderson celebrates with Finland's Enni Rukajarvi and Great Britain's Jenny Jones [AFP]

Snowboarder Jenny Jones secured Britain's first-ever Olympic medal on snow when the 33-year-old took bronze in a nerve-shredding slopestyle final.

"It's ridiculous! That's me! That's me! From Bristol!," a jubilant Jones told reporters when informed of her feat.

Sochi 2014 medals (top 3)
Country  G   S   B  Total
Norway  2  1  3  6
Netherlands  2  1  1 4
United States  2  0  1 3

American Jamie Anderson took gold with a mighty 95.25 with Finland's Enni Rukajarvi was second on 92.50 but nobody else was able to dislodge Jones from her podium spot.

The British bronze medal winner's snowboarding odyssey has taken her from an inauspicious start on a dry slope in Churchill to an Olympic podium finish.

The start of Jones' career was a lonely time, with few British team mates on the circuit.

"When I first started, there wasn't a lot of us so I would travel a lot with other nationalities and hang out with other girls from other parts of Europe, but gradually there's been an increase in British riders."

Jones says the sport has changed considerably since then, not least in Britain, and predicted a bright future after her bronze breakthrough.

Start of legacy

"We've got some great talent coming through, and it feels really nice to see that strong force from the British side of things."

In a tense final full of thrills and spills - including a helmet cracked in a heavy crash by Czech Sarka Pancochova - Jones, second on the start list, made a beautifully clean second run to move into the lead with a score of 87.25.

She then faced an agonising wait as she watched the next 10 competitors try to take it away from her.

"It was so difficult waiting. I thought I did my best run and landed it as best as I could," she said.

Elsewhere, Ireen Wust gave the Netherlands its second straight gold medal at the speedskating oval by winning the women's 3000m event.

Skating in the next-to-last pairing, Wust turned in a time of 4 minutes, 0.34 seconds to knock off defending Olympic champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic.

There was a significant victory for Matthias Mayer in the alpine skiing men's downhill as the Austrian took gold despite starting as the underdog to the USA's Bode Miller.

This win was particularly well recieved in Austria, where skiing is the national sport, as the men's Olympic team was shockingly shut out with no medals at all at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Retains Olympic title

"I woke up this morning and I knew that I could win this race", Mayer said. "I was smiling the whole day, all throughout inspection. It was my day today." 

Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia successfully defended her Olympic title in the women's 7.5 kilometre sprint from the Vancouver Games four years ago.

She shot flawlessly and finished in 21 minutes, 6.8 seconds for her third career Olympic medal.

Olga Vilukhina of Russia trailed Kuzmina by 19.9 seconds to win silver and Vita Semerenko of Ukraine was 21.7 behind for bronze.



Al Jazeera and agencies
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