Gold And Silver Aerials For Lydia Lassila And Danielle Scott
Australia’s Super Saturday in winter sports moved up another notch last night in Minsk, Belarus when Lydia Lassila won her second World Cup and Danielle Scott took silver, reclaiming the overall Aerial Skiing World Cup number one position.
“My jumping is getting better as the season goes on,” Lassila said of her second gold in four outings this season.
“I’ve toned down my excitement from my first win but I’m equally wrapped.”
For the third consecutive event, wind and weather have played their part in the art of strategy in this mercurial sport, where a small difference in wind speed can make or break a podium finish.
“This week we were a lot smarter. It was pretty windy but we got it right today. We waited for the wind gusts and found the windows. Even 2 kilometres difference in wind speed makes a big difference,” Lassila said.
Danielle Scott had paid the price for a strong wind gust in her previous World Cup and she wasn’t about to let it happen again.
“The qualifying jump kind of bummed me out because it was wind affected,” Scott said.
“For the final, I didn’t mind what the weather was. I definitely went in with a good mind set.
China’s highly respected and favoured Mengtao Xu was last to jump in the final and Scott admits to some nerves watching the event reach its conclusion.
“Watching at the end was a bit nerve racking. My goal this season has been the yellow bib. It was such a fantastic day and huge that – as a team – we are all working so well together.”
Fifth place overall went to an ecstatic Samantha Wells who qualified top of the Australian women into the super final.
“Sam has had a great event,” said coach Jeff Bean. “She had two very high scoring jumps. We were close to a sweep and it’s just fabulous.”
Laura Peel started the day brilliantly, making it four out of four Flying Kangaroos through to the top twelve but cam unstuck on the landing in the first final and was unable to join her team mates in the top six.
“I’m disappointed for Laura,” coach Bean said. “She’s happy, healthy and jumping well and just on the cusp of top results.”
Geoff Lipshut, Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO commented afterwards, “ It was great for all four athletes to make it through to the top 12.”
“Unfortunately, Laura just missed the top six, and what a comeback by Lydia, two wins and ranked third in the world already. Danielle now has the yellow bib back for next week’s final. It will be an exciting end to the season and great job by our athletes and coaches.”
Dave Morris didn’t have the day he hoped for and was disappointed to not progress to the top twelve after missing the landing and placing 24th.
The Aerial skiers travel to Moscow for the World Cup final on March 4, which will be held in city on scaffolding.
The Aerial Skiing World Championships are in Sierra, Nevada, Spain on March 10.
TRIPLE PODIUM FOR AUSTRALIA’S MOGUL SKIING TEAM
In an extraordinary day of competition at the final stop of the Mogul Skiing World Cup tour at Thaiwoo Park, China, Britt Cox stood on the podium for the eighth time in ten events by taking the bronze and was followed by a Men’s double podium when Brodie Summers and Matt Graham won silver and bronze respectively.
The first-ever three podium places at a single event by the Australians accounted for half of the medals on offer ahead of the Dual Moguls, which will be competed today.
Britt Cox has already created history, becoming the first Australian female to win a Mogul Skiing World Cup title, which she secured last week in Japan. Last night’s bronze is more icing on the cake ahead of the World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain on March 8.
"I am pumped to be on another podium and even more excited to share it with Brodie and Matt," Cox said tonight.
"Matt, Brodie and I live and train together almost year-round, so it felt really special for all of us to be on the podium today. It's motivating for the team."
"I qualified fifth into the super final so I knew I needed to lift my game to be competitive in the final round. I'm happy to have executed that plan."
"Sunday is the last event of the World Cup Tour and it's Dual moguls. I'm excited for another competition day on the hill here in China."
The World Championships is only two weeks away and all eyes will be on Cox to see if she can sustain her dominating form.
"The season certainly isn't over yet,” she said.
“We still have the World Championships in Spain on March 8 and 9. I'm looking forward to another opportunity to maximise my skiing."
Brodie Summers has been a man on an upward path this season, making four finals in the season a duals bronze medal, culminating tonight in his first World Cup podium – a silver.
“I felt good all day,” Summers said. “The best part was sharing the podium with Matt. I was really chuffed about that – and seeing lots of Australian flags on the podiums.”
“The course is fun but also very tricky. The most noticeable point of difference is the spacing on the turns... these are by far and away the tightest moguls I have ever skied.”
“It was a tough course and to be rewarded at the end of the day is just great and I want to ski my best tomorrow in the Duals.”
Summers acknowledged the team effort that is the glue behind the Australian mogul skiing success.
“The success was really about the entire team executing the game plan. We stuck to the plan and it paid off.”
Matt Graham took the bronze behind Summers and did so by coming from 11th place in the qualifying, making his fourth podium for the season and appearing in all bar one Super Final, earning him a reputation as one of the most consistent skiers on the World Cup tour.
“I’m feeling really confident. One of my goals at the beginning of the season was consistency. I’ve made the top six everywhere except Lake Placid,” Graham said.
“I had a good feeling at the top of the course. There were some dicey runs in practise and to ski up from 11th place in the qualifying to second in Final 1 was really satisfying.”
“If you qualify low, it is unusual to make the Super Final. I knew that first final had to be goo and I laid it down.”
“In the Super Final, I made some mistakes in the middle section but I’m super happy for Brodie and had my fingers crossed for him during his run. It’s great.”
Success was also tasted by 19-year-old NSWIS skier Claudia Gueli who made her first final and finished in 13th place.
“It was really cool to see Claudia make her first final today. She was ripping this course so that was very well deserved,” Britt Cox said.
Other Australian results in Thaiwoo include Krystle Yin 19th, Madi Himbury 22nd, James Matheson 18th and Rohan Chapman-Davies 19th.
The Dual Moguls will be competed today (Sunday) at 2.05pm and concludes the 2016/17 Mogul Skiing World Cups.
The World Championships will be held at Sierra Nevada, Spain on March 8 and 9.