Suzuki Snow Series - Moguls

Updated

The 2011 Suzuki National Snowsport Championships rolls on for another week with the National Moguls Championship taking place at NSW’s Perisher resort on August 19-20.  

The championships represent the highest level of snow competition in Australia, with athletes competing in events across the four disciplines of snowboarding, alpine skiing, freestyle and cross-country skiing from 6 – 27 August.  

Through its partnership with Ski & Snowboard Australia, Suzuki has been the major sponsor of the elite competition event for the last two seasons.

MOGULS CHAMPIONSHIPS – DAY 2

Australian 16-year-old Matt Graham captured his maiden victory in open competition when he won a drama packed second event in the Suzuki National Moguls Championships at NSW’s Perisher resort today.

The Australian Institute of Sport / NSW Institute of Sport athlete turned the tables on his more experienced rival, Russia’s Alexander Smyshyaev.

The Australian teenager and the Russian waged a two day duel during these championships with Alexander Smyshyaev edging out Graham by 0.95 of a point in the first event on Friday, but Graham finished ahead by 0.1 of a point in their return stouch today.

An elated Graham, who was runner up in last year’s event, said that he knew he could put pressure on the Russian, and was buoyed by the slender margin in yesterday’s competition.

“I knew I had to put a clean run down in the qualification round and then step up the pressure in the final,” Graham said. “I am wrapped to win today.”

Another Russian, Sergey Volkov, took out third place.

Graham’s win over the Russian was a surprise to many, given the experience of Smyshyaev.

However, it was Graham who held his poise and composure when the competition developed in to a gripping final.

The teenager set up his win in the turns, earning 0.9 of a point more than the Russian.

Smyshyaev was more impressive in the air and received slightly more points in speed down the 254-metre course, which was bathed in magnificent sunny conditions.

To add to Australia’s successes, NSW Institute of Sport’s 19-year-old Nicole Parks also celebrated victory, with a win over Japan’s Miki Ito and third placed Russian Regina Rakhimora.

Parks, a NSWIS team member for seven years, said she was as surprised as anybody by her win in a battle that was as tight as the men’s final.

“I didn’t ski well yesterday and today was all about a different mindset,” Parks said.

“I approached today with a far more positive frame of mind and it really paid off.”

Parks is hoping that today marks the start of her claim for team selection at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, in Russia.

Women’s Suzuki Australian Freestyle Championships:
1. Nicole Parks (AUS) 22.40, 2. Miki Ito (JPN) 22.14, 3. Regina Rakhimora (RUS) 22.13, 4. Brit Cox (AUS)20.76, 5. Merika Pertakhiya (RUS) 20.34, 6. Satsuki Ito (JPN) 19.35.

Men’s Suzuki Australian Freestyle Championships:
1. Matt Graham (AUS) 23.75, 2. Alexander Smyshyaev (RUS) 23.65, 3. Sergey Volkov (RUS) 23.37, 4. Vitaliy Sergeiv (RUS) 23.01, 5. David Graham (AUS) 22.13, 6. Keita Hiroshima (JPN) 21.73.

MOGULS CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY 1

Australian teenagers Brit Cox and Matt Graham fell agonisingly short of victory in the opening event of the Suzuki National Moguls Championships at NSW’s Perisher resort yesterday.

Skiing in challenging conditions, Cox was a mere 0.06 points behind the winner while Graham fell short by just 0.95 points.

The women’s event was won by Japan’s Arisa Murato, with compatriot Miki Ito occupying the other podium position.

The men’s moguls competition was won by Russian Alexander Smyshyaev ahead of teammate Denis Dolgodvorov in third.

The women’s event was a close fought affair with the three top finishers scoring 18.54, 18.48 and 17.68 points, in a three way battle for victory.

Although Cox wanted the win, she is particularly pleased with the way she skied.

The Australian Institute of Sport/NSW Institute of Sport athlete was the benchmark with her turns, with a point advantage over Murato, and went close to earning the judges’ top marks with jumps.

However, the difference between winning and coming second was Murato’s speed down the mountain, which has become the hallmark of the Japanese team.

Snow speed has been a focal point for Cox’s on-going development and she has been working hard with AIS mogul skiing program head coach Steve Desovich.

“Considering the conditions, there was an improvement but hopefully I can go a bit bigger again and faster in the second competition,” Cox said.

“I have a few things I want to work on but overall I was pretty pleased with the way I skied.”

Fellow AIS/NSWIS skier Graham was close to Smyshyaev with speed, the Australian matched the Russian with jumps points but was unable to match the winner with turns.

NSWIS athletes David Graham and Sam Hall were also impressive, finishing in fifth and sixth places, a strong result given the quality of the 49 men competing from Australia and overseas.

Women’s Suzuki Australian Freestyle Championships:
1. Arisa Murata (JPN) 18.54, 2. Brit Cox (AUS) 18.48, 3. Miki Ito (JPN) 17.68, 4. Elena Muratova (RUS) 16.42, 5. Lane Stoltzner (USA) 15.84, 6.Taylah-Page O’Neill (AUS) 15.56.

Men’s Suzuki Australian Freestyle Championships:
1. Alexander Smyshyaev (RUS) 24.48, 2. Matt Graham (AUS) 23.53, 3. Denis Dolgodvorov, (RUS) 23.46, 4. Vitaliy Sergeiv, (RUS) 23.16, 5. David Graham (AUS) 22.39, 6. Sam Hall (AUS) 22.11.

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