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Women's slopestyle medals awarded at start of Olympic day

Published On: Feb 09 2014 03:28:41 AM MST
Updated On: Feb 09 2014 07:55:35 AM MST
Womens slopestyle

REUTERS/Mike Blake

U.S. snowboarder Jamie Anderson took home gold Sunday in the inaugural appearance of women's slopestyle as an Olympic event.

Enni Rukajarvi of Finland took silver and Jenny Jones of Great Britain took bronze.

Anderson was out of medal contention going into the second of her two final runs, but landed two 720s in her run to score 95.25 and jump to the top of the standings. With only two snowboarders to come after her, her score held up for gold.

The competitors each took two runs in the finals, with the higher of the two scores counting.

Karly Shorr, a 19-year-old Michigan native and the only other American to make it through to the finals, finished in sixth place.

The event, one of 12 new events making their Olympic debut this year, has proved to be one of the most popular at the Winter X Games over the years. Slopestyle, which is also being introduced in Sochi with skiers, features a steep course with a series of challenging aerial stunts, ramps and rails.

With fellow American Sage Kotsenburg's gold medal in the men's snowboard slopestyle Saturday and Anderson's gold-medal run Sunday, the U.S. swept the inaugural events in snowboard slopestyle in Sochi.

Anderson, a 23-year-old California native, is competing in her first Olympics after earning eight X Games medals in her signature event over the course of nine years, including four golds. She became the youngest Winter X Games medalist when she won bronze in 2006 at age 15.

Ty Walker, Anderson's junior by seven years at 16-years-old and also competing in her first Olympics, failed to advance to the finals, falling in the second of her two semifinal runs earlier Sunday.

The New York native topped all U.S. women at the 2013 FIS World Snowboarding Championship, finishing fifth, but spent her Olympics dealing with multiple injuries suffered in practice last week.

Fellow American Jessika Jensen, a 22-year-old from Rigby, Idaho, also failed to make the finals in the slopestyle event.