Howell extends Canada’s golden monopoly of freestyle skiing in Sochi
Dara Howell of Canada produced an incredible score of 94.20 points on her first run to take gold in the inaugural women's Olympic slopestyle skiing competition at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Tuesday morning.
No-one else could get close to the benchmark set by the 19-year-old from Ontario, as Devin Logan of the USA took silver with 85.40, with another Canadian, Kim Lamarre coming in just behind with a score of 85.00 to claim bronze.
Howell, who took silver at the 2014 Worlds, had been dominant throughout the competition, and also posted the top score in the heats earlier in the morning.
“I couldn’t have been happier after that first run. I will never forget the moment when I saw the score and heard the crowd go wild,” said the Canadian after her victory.
Overall, the teenager was the best to adapt to challenging conditions on the piste, as the competitors pushed themselves to the limits, endeavouring to impress the judges with their jumps and technical mastery of the obstacles the 600m Rosa Khutor course.
And having set such a high score with her first attempt, Howell was able to complete her second final run with a relaxed flourish, already assured of the gold medal.
Canadian freestylers 6 rest of the world 3
Howell’s fellow Canadian, Kaya Turski, the reigning world champion and pre-tournament favourite, failed to even make the final, finishing 19th after crashing on both her runs in the qualification heats.
“They were just two separate mistakes,” reflected Turski. “I just didn't have much confidence going into the first run.
“The second run was going alright, not my best, but then I just hit a bump and overdid it. It just happened.”
However, despite Turski’s disappointment, Canada has now claimed six of nine podium spots in the men’s and women’s freestyle skiing events so far, underlining their dominance of the various disciplines.