Tess Coady and Valentino Guseli help Australia to record medal haul at world championships

Tess Coady and Valentino Guseli help Australia to record medal haul at world championships

Australia have recorded their highest ever medal tally at a Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, winning a staggering six medals in Bakuriani, Georgia.

17-year-old sensation Valentino Guseli claimed sliver on Friday in an incredible showdown in the snowboard halfpipe, while Olympic bronze medalist Tess Coady clinched bronze in the snowboard big air on the final day of the championships.

After battling injury all week, Guseli stunned the field, performing a massive cab-triple-1440 (four rotations with three flips, taking off switch) to score 93 points, just half a point behind the winner, fellow teenager Chaeun Lee of Korea.

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“The cab-triple-1440 was a trick I learnt in November, and I have been struggling a little bit with it all year, I perfected it a week before coming here training in Laax, Switzerland, landing five in a row and felt really comfortable with them,” Guseli said.

Guseli has been competing in all three snowboarding disciplines this season, but after sustaining an ankle injury in practice for slopestyle he elected to withdraw from both slopestyle and big air events in Bakuriani to focus on halfpipe.

Valentino Guseli after winning silver. Credit: Chris Hocking/OWIA

“I am pretty stoked, considering that a week ago I was crawling around my apartment not sure if I was going to be able to do anything here, I am really happy,” he said after winning silver.

Rounding out the podium was Swiss rider Jan Scherrer in third, while three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Scotty James narrowly missed recording his fifth career world championship medal, finishing in fifth place.

Guseli showed that he was a class act both in and out of the pipe as he stayed in the finish area after the awards ceremony to take pictures with young Georgian fans.

“I grew up watching Scotty James, and now to be almost at a level where kids look up to me the same is pretty amazing,” he said..

Coady, who won bronze in the big air event, has previously medalled in slopetyle, however this is her first podium in big air at both world cup and world championship level.

Coady stomped a huge back-1080-Indi on her first hit scoring 84.75 and confesses that she hadn’t performed the trick in training for the big air event.

Tess Coady (right) celebrates her bronze medal. Credit: Chris Hocking/OWIA

“I definitely wanted to do the backside 1080 today, I did it in the slopestyle and it felt really good on that jump, I just had to make sure I got the speed right,” she said.

The two highest scoring jumps in the three-run format count towards the rider’s final score. Coady’s second jump, a frontside-900-tailgrab produced a final score of 153.25 points. With her bronze in slopestyle from Aspen 2021, Coady now has a world championship medal in both events.

Coady’s medal was Australia’s sixth of the championships (four silver and two bronze), and beats the previous record hauls of five medals in 2011 and 2017.

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