Matt Graham’s Winter Olympic medal hopes have been dealt a serious blow, with the mogul skier requiring surgery on a broken collarbone after a training crash.
Australia’s female athletes flew the flag in Europe with four World Cup podiums, including aerial skier Danielle Scott winning her event, but Graham’s injury put a dampener on a stellar weekend.
Graham, who won silver at the 2018 Olympics, crashed in a training run before the finals at the World Cup event at Idre Fjall in Sweden.
Sources told AAP the 27-year-old, who snapped two bones in the crash, will undergo surgery in Sweden before flying home to Sydney to recuperate.
The Australian team are still hopeful he will recover in time to compete in the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.
Graham was in sparkling form in qualifying, sitting in fourth place, but missed competing in the finals after the training crash.
In tough conditions, Japan claimed a World Cup double with Ikuma Horishima and teenager Anri Kawamura winning the men’s and women’s events.
Australia’s Jakara Anthony finished third, with her successive podium finish moving her to top spot in the overall rankings after two rounds.
The top-placed Australian man was Brodie Summers in 11th while reigning Olympic and world champion Mikael Kingsbury of Canada was a shock eighth.
Scott won the aerial World Cup in Finland, with her world champion teammate Laura Peel taking silver.
A squad full of hot prospects
The last time Australia recorded a double podium was four years ago in Lake Placid, USA, when Lydia Lassila and Peel won medals in back-to-back World Cup events.
Meanwhile, Bree Walker finished second in the World Cup monobob event in Germany.
The Victorian bobsleigh gun was just 0.23 seconds behind American winner Elana Taylor Meyers.
There was nearly a fifth Australian medal through world mixed team snowboard cross champions Belle Brockhoff and Jarryd Hughes, who finished fourth in a World Cup event in Montafon, Austria.
Scott laid down her latest marker for Olympics, executing a flawless double full-full (triple twisting double backflip) to score a near-perfect 102.93 points to claim victory.
Fellow two-time Olympian Peel scored 99.37 to claim the silver medal ahead of China’s Xu Mengtao (98.28).
“Walking away with the gold today feels pretty amazing,” the 31-year-old Scott said.
“It’s been a bit of a slow, but good build to the season.
“I have cracked the 100-point mark before on a triple twisting double, so I thought that would be my goal for today and ended up walking away with the win, which I am so incredible happy with.
“To have a teammate on the podium is pretty special, we have a pretty awesome team dynamic right now, and it’s even sweeter I guess.”