Australia's Jakara Anthony edges American Jaelin Kauf for women's moguls gold at Beijing Olympics

Jakara Anthony of Australia won the women's moguls title at the Beijing Olympics, narrowly claiming the victory over silver medalist Jaelin Kauf of the United States.

Anthony made it look almost easy Sunday, breezing through the bumps as the final competitor of the night and sewing up the gold medal with a backflip with a grab at the bottom. Her score of 83.09 on the Secret Garden Olympic ski course edged Kauf, who was poised to pick up the first gold medal for Team USA at this year's Winter Games.

"It was really incredible," Anthony said of her final run. "I really feel like it was my best run on the course, and I'm so proud that I was able to let myself ski like that."

Russian athlete Anastasiia Smirnova earned the bronze, and defending champion Perrine Laffont of France took fourth.

Anthony, 23, joins Dale Begg-Smith as the only Aussies to win the Olympic moguls event. Begg-Smith earned his title at the 2006 Turin Games.

Anthony needed to be at her best after Kauf's electric run right before her. Although Kauf was faster from top to bottom, Anthony's form appeared a smidge cleaner and her jumps a little more difficult.

Still, it was an incredible bounce-back Olympic performance for Kauf, who entered the Pyeongchang Games four years ago as the top-ranked moguls skier only to finish a disappointing seventh.

"I was skiing to win every single round," Kauf said of her strategy this time around. "I wanted to walk away with absolutely no regrets in my skiing and just put it all out there 100% every time."

Kauf is the next generation of daredevils in her family. Her mother, Patti, and father, Scott, picked up plenty of moguls titles back in their day. But she now has the nicest prize of all -- an Olympic silver medal.

The hardware will pair nice with the gold and silver Olympic-themed necklaces her mom had custom-made for her as good-luck charms before each of the past two Winter Games.

Olivia Giaccio of the United States made it to last round of finals and finished sixth. Hannah Soar narrowly missed making the final round.

Anthony added to the big day for the Southern Hemisphere at the Genting Snow Park. Earlier and just a quick walk away from the moguls course, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott captured New Zealand's first Winter Games gold in the women's slopestyle competition, while Tess Coady of Australia took bronze.

"It's such an honor to represent Australia here in Beijing and to be taking home a gold medal," Anthony said. "I really couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm just really proud."

American teen Kai Owens made her first official trip down the Olympic course after sitting out the opening round of qualification the other day because of a swollen eye suffered in a nasty training crash. Owens earned a spot into the first and second round of finals before being eliminated.

This has been quite a journey for Owens, 17, who returned to the country where she was born for the Beijing Games. Abandoned at a town square in China as an infant, she was taken to an orphanage and adopted at around 16 months old by a couple from Colorado.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.