Australian aerial skier Danielle Scott’s blossoming career grew yet again today when she captured her first World Cup medal in Lake Placid in the United States.
The 23-year-old Australian Institute of Sport/Victorian Institute of Sport athlete was a picture of consistency throughout the day, which came to a crescendo with a well-executed full full – a double twisting double summersault – in the super-final, earning a score of 89.77 and second place, in the last event before the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in Russia, starting February 7.
Scott’s full full was so impressive that she was just 1.52 points from snatching victory from China’s Nina Li, who scored 91.29 points, which was assisted by a higher degree of difficulty.
The silver medal has helped Scott cement her place in the top 10 world rankings along-side two other AIS/VIS athletes, Lydia Lassila and Laura Peel , meaning that Australians are sixth, fourth and ninth respectively at season end.
The end of season result for the “Flying Kangaroos” was good, considering Peel and Scott were rested at the previous event in Canada.
The Lake Placid results were the second time this week that three Australian women have achieved top 10 finishes.
Scott was one of three Aussie women in the qualification session to advance to the first final, consisting of the top 12 athletes.
Reigning Olympic gold medallist Lydia Lassila headlined a successful day for Australian aerial skiers in Val St Come, Canada, today by claiming her first World Cup win since the Australian Institute of Sport/Victorian Institute of Sport athlete returned to the sport 12 months.
Adding to the Australian's achievements was a third place by fellows AIS/VIS athlete David Morris, who had his first podium finish for the season, and with a career best result and her first super-final appearance, AIS/VIS skier Samantha Wells, who finished fourth.
Renee McElduff, also a AIS/VIS skier, capped of the day for the Aussies by jumping into her first final of the season, ending the day in eighth, meaning that every member of Australia’s aerial squad competing today advanced to the finals.
In combination, Australians occupied three of the eight positions in the women’s and men’s super-finals and two of the six podium places on offer.
Lassila finished ahead of two Chinese skiers, world number two Nina Li who picked up the silver medal, and world number one Xin Zhang, was third.
Lassila’s dominance in the event was apparent from the first of two finals.
After qualifying for F1 in fifth place, Lassila hit top form by breezing into the super-final by finishing 17.19 points ahead of Li, her nearest rival.
Again in the super-final Lassila delivered an assertive performance, earning the right to stand on the podium’s top step with a full, full,full – a triple twisting triple summersault – which attracted 100.84 points, 9.55 points better than Li.
It is the 12th time in Lassila’s glittering career that she has won a World Cup and in doing so she has pushed her ranking back to number three in the world.
Morris started the day by moving into the first final in 11th place after the qualification session but then started to apply the pressure with a fourth place and the right to jump in the medal round.
Morris seized the opportunity in his first super-final of the season with a lay double full, full – a twisting triple summersault – enabling him to reach the podium for the third time in his World Cup career.
Australian Institute of Sport / Victorian Institute of Sport aerial skier Laura Peel finished fifth in the Deer Valley World Cup in the United States today, bagging her best result of the season and ending the day as Australia’s highest placed athlete.
The 24-year-old’s display was one place better than fellow AIS / VIS athlete Danielle Scott, while Samantha Wells, another member of the AIS / VIS squad, finished in 11th place, which was her best result since March 2013.
Peel narrowly missed qualifying for the super-final, however, she will be pleased to see her ranking jump a place to number five in the world.
The Deer Valley World Cup, the first of three tour events scheduled in just seven days, was a clean sweep for Chinese women Shuang Cheng, Xin Zhang and Mengtao Xu.
The men’s was won by Anton Kushnir from Belarus, China’s Guangpin Qi was second and Kushnir’s compatriot Alexei Grishin was third.
Peel and Scott were joined by AIS / VIS skier David Morris as the third Australian to end the day within the top 10.
After qualifying for the first final in seventh place, Morris unfortunately missed the cut for a spot in the next round in very unusual and controversial circumstances where there were fourteen men allowed to qualify for final #1, instead of the normal twelve.
AERIAL SKIING ARCHIVES