The 2022 Winter Olympics continued in Beijing on Day Two, with a number of medals up for grabs across a wide variety of sports.
Much of Australia stayed up late eagerly awaiting the women’s moguls, with Australia’s Jakara Anthony not disappointing and claiming gold, leading the competition from start to finish.
Earlier in the day, New Zealander Zoi Sadowski Synnott claimed the country’s first-ever gold medal in Winter Olympic history in the women’s snowboard slopestyle and Australia’s Tess Coady claimed the bronze.
In the night events, world record holder Nils van der Poel broke the Olympic record to claim gold for Sweden in the men’s 5000m speed skating and Alexander Bolshunov of the Russian Olympic Committee broke away in the second half of the men’s 15km +15km skiathlon cross-country to claim victory.
The last gold medals of Day Two went to Ryoyu Kobayashi in the men’s normal hill ski jump and Johannes Ludwig in the men’s luge singles.
Freestyle Skiing: Women’s Moguls
Australia’s Jakara Anthony qualified in first place for the finals of the women’s moguls, with competitor numbers whittled down with each of the three cut-throat finals, leaving the final six competitors to compete for gold in the super final.
Anthony posted the highest score in the first run, slightly ahead of World Cup champion, Japan’s Anri Kawamura and reigning Olympic gold medalist Perrine Laffont of France. Anthony continued her amazing efforts in run two, again finishing with the highest score to make the final six, ahead of speed demon Jaelin Kauf of the USA.
Kauf put down a huge run in the super final, however, Anthony pulled off a near-perfect run to record a huge score of 83.09 to win the gold for Australia, our 6th gold medal in Olympic history and first since 2010.
Gold: Jakara Anthony (Australia)
Silver: Jaelin Kauf (USA)
Bronze: Anastasia Smirnova (Russian Olympic Committee)
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Snowboard: Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle
New Zealander Zoi Sadowski Synnott hit the lead after run one of three with a score of 84.51, with Australia’s Tess Coady in second with 82.68. Julia Marino of the USA posted a huge score of 87.68 in run two to take the lead in the competition and push the New Zealander and Australian into the minor placings.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson failed on all three runs in her bid to claim three straight gold and all other competitors failed to improve on their best score. Sadowski Synott was the last to compete and pulled off a huge score of 92.88 to claim the gold for New Zealand, with Coady claiming Australia’s first medal of the games – a bronze.
This was the first gold medal in New Zealand Winter Olympic history, the first time a New Zealander and an Australian have shared the podium at a Winter Olympics and it was Australia’s 16th ever medal at the Winter Olympic Games.
Gold: Zoi Sadowski Synnott (New Zealand)
Silver: Julia Marino (USA)
Bronze: Tess Coady (Australia)
Speed Skating: Men’s 5000m
20 skaters competed for the gold in the men’s 5000m speed skating, with competitors skating two at a time with the best time overall claiming the gold.
Sven Kramer of the Netherlands is considered a legend of the sport, having won the gold at the past three Olympics. This was his final event before retirement and he finished in a commendable ninth.
Pair three of Hallgeir Engebraaten and Sergei Trofimov set the early pace before Dutch competitor Patrick Roest broke Kramer’s long-time Olympic record with a time of 6:09.31. Ted-Jan Bloemen of Canada was considered one of the main chances and was looking for his third Olympic medal, however, he faded late to miss the podium.
World record holder Nils van der Poel was in the final pairing and pulled off an amazing race, coming from behind to break the just set Olympic record and snatch gold from Roest in a time of 6:08.84.
Gold: Nils van der Poel (Sweden)
Silver: Patrick Roest (Netherlands)
Bronze: Hallgeir Engebraaten (Norway)
Ski Jumping: Men’s Normal Hill Individual
50 competitors started the men’s normal hill ski jump, an event that combines distance and style, with the top 30 after the first jump qualifying for the final jump. Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi launched himself a huge distance of 104.5 metres to take a commanding lead after the first jump with a mammoth score of 145.4.
Austria’s Manuel Fettner posted the biggest score on jump two of 136.3, however, Kobayashi’s second jump of 129.6 was enough to hold on to claim the gold.
Gold: Ryoyu Kobayashi (Japan)
Silver: Manuel Fettner (Austria)
Bronze: Dawid Kubacki (Poland)
Luge: Men’s Singles
34 competitors competed on the luge track four times over two days, with the lowest cumulative time taking the gold. Germany’s Johannes Ludwig led after runs one and two, with under two seconds separating the top 15 after the first two runs.
The German continued his dominance, continuing to lead after the third run, closely followed by Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl, with a large gap to the rest of the field. Ludwig put in a great final run, leading from start to finish to claim the gold.
Gold: Johannes Ludwig (Germany)
Silver: Wolfgang Kindl (Austria)
Bronze: Dominik Fischnaller (Italy)
Cross-Country Skiing: Men’s 15km + 15km Skiathlon
Alexander Bolshunov won the Russian Olympic Committee’s first gold medal in these Beijing games, winning the 15km + 15km Skiathlon. The event involves a 15km cross-country race on classic skis, before switching to skate skis for the next 15km.
Finnish skier Iivo Niskanen is renowned as the world’s best classical cross-country skier. He pulled away early from the pack at the 5km mark of the first leg, but Bolshunov quickly closed the gap, with the two putting a large gap on the remaining competitors by the halfway point.
Bolshunov’s skate ski ability allowed him to increase the gap early in the second leg and he led the rest of the way, winning by 71 seconds in a time of 1:16:09.8. Russian Olympic Committee competitor Denis Spitsov managed to pass Niskanen late to claim silver, with Niskanen holding on for bronze in a tight finish.
Gold: Alexander Bolshunov (Russian Olympic Committee)
Silver: Denis Spitsov (Russian Olympic Committee)
Bronze: Iivo Niskanen (Finland)
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