Australian Snowboarder Scotty James.
Australian Snowboarder Scotty James.

‘Shafted!’ Problem with huge call on Aussie medal haul

WINTER SPORTS: Data giant Gracenote has released its final Virtual Medal Table that includes a bullish prediction of a record four medals for Australia in Pyeonchang.

It came as one of the athletes identified as likely winning gold for the Aussies, Scotty James, launched a broadside at judges who he believes have been 'shafting' him in recent events.

Gracenote has had a stab at predicting the destination of the 306 medals up for grabs and the final medal standings.

Norway heads the table with 41 overall, and 13 gold, although the data suggests  Germany will secure 14 golds from 39 total with the United States back in third on 29, one ahead of Canada with France (21) rounding out the top five.

Australia has claimed three medals at the past two Olympics with two gold (Torah Bright and Lydia Lassila) and a silver (Dale Begg-Smith) in 2010 and two silver (Bright and David Morris) and a bronze (Lassila) in 2014.

Scotty James competes in the World Cup. Picture: Getty Images
Scotty James competes in the World Cup. Picture: Getty Images

"Australia is set to achieve its best ever Winter Olympic run with a total of four medals (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze)," the Gracenote report said.

"The country won its first Winter Olympic medal in Lillehammer in 1994. Freestyle skier Britt Cox and snowboarder Scotty James have the best chances of winning gold for Australia in PyeongChang."

"Our projections are based on results from the world's most extensive database of Olympic sports and a proprietary statistical model which is applied to that data."

Considering James and Cox are Australia's two defending world championship and World Cup champions it doesn't seem a huge reach from Gracenote.

 

But it does seem to be slightly off the pace considering recent results. Hopefully, Gracenote is spot on but James has seen his snowboard half-pipe event dominated this season by 19-year-old Japanese star Ayumu Hirano, who recently knocked James into X Games silver with an astonishing 99 out of 100 run that included the first ever back to back 1440 double corks thrown down in competition.

Australian Snowboarder Scotty James poses during previews ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Australian Snowboarder Scotty James poses during previews ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

James did counter with a 98, his best ever comp score and in a high stakes Olympic final will have every chance.

As for his mental state? The laid-back Victorian fired up about recent results given by judges in his event, saying that at times he feels like he gets "a bit shafted".

James admitted to having words with judges after recent competitions where he felt he was scored incorrectly.

The Victorian has a trick that no other rider has performed in competition that involves three and a half spins and a blind landing and on Thursday said judges need to "pay a bit more attention to the details".

Cox overwhelmed her rivals in 2016-2017 but has been less consistent this season. She has had two World Cup wins but recent form has shown a dip, with four finishes off the podium.



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