Knees Up For Aussie Anna

Image courtesy of sochi2014.olympics.com.au
Anna Segal is chasing Australia's first Slopestyle Games medal. Image courtesy of sochi2014.olympics.com.au

One of the event favourites before injury concerns emerged 12 months ago, Anna Segal was passed fit by Australian team doctors at the weekend for the Freestyle Skiing Slopestyle, which makes its Games debut. The 27-year-old Victorian injured her left knee at a World Cup event in Switzerland in early 2013 and spent much of the year in rehabilitation. As she hit slopes again to begin preparations for Sochi, she suffered another setback – this time hurting her right knee. Overall, she’s had two knee reconstructions and has to manage both joints carefully.

A big-event performer, Segal took out the World Championship in 2011 at Park City in the U.S. and the Winter X Games in 2009. However, frustrating injury layoffs have seen Segal miss vital time on the snow. She's spent only a handful of days training on the Sochi course, but is hoping her big meet experience will make-up for the lack of preparation.

The Slopestyle event features two qualifying runs, with another two for the athletes who make the 12-woman final. Canada and the U.S. look like going head-to-head in this discipline. The Canadian team includes World Champion Kaya Turski and promising 19-year-old Dara Howell , while the American assault features World Cup winner Keri Herman and Devin Logan , whose 21st birthday is a few days after the event.

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