Sami Kennedy-Sim and Anton Grimus encountered mixed fortunes during the double header in the French resort of Val Thorens during the last few days.
The Olympic Winter Institute of Australia/NSW Institute of Sport duo arrived in Val Thorens with a clear plan to achieve strong World Cup performances and to continue their build up to the World Championships on January 24, however, the way the weekend unfolded was not as they expected.
Kennedy-Sim tweaked her sacroiliac on the right side of her pelvis in training and battled back stiffness throughout most of the Val Thorens event.
Kennedy-Sim did not ski at her best on the first day of racing and as a result she missed the cut for the finals.
Kennedy-Sim was able to qualify for the finals in 12th place on day 2 but was slotted against Canada’s Marielle Thompson and Sweden’s Anna Holmlund in the first knockout final.
Kennedy-Sim pressured the front runners but she was unable to progress to the quarter finals, ending her day in 13th, while the Canadian and Swede went on to claim first and second overall, ahead of France’s Ophelie David in third place.
Kennedy-Sim said she was looking forward to the World Championships and expects to launch into a rigorous training camp in Austria next week.
“Today was a good improvement on my last two World Cups and I’m feeling confident going into World Champs,” she said.
On the back of a fifth fastest time in the qualification session and a solid ninth place in the first race, Grimus once again showed his raw speed in the early stage of today’s qualification run.
Within sight of the finish line in the qualification session, Grimus made a fundamental error on the third last turn and unfortunately skied over a marker, gaining an automatic disqualification.
Grimus said he was disappointed not to have qualified for the finals but he is also looking forward to the World Championships.
“In the early part of qualifying I was skiing really well,” he said.
“In the second split I was in first position and made a mistake over the negative turn which made me hook up my skis a bit too much and I went over a gate.
“All in all it was good to know that I was skiing quickly and now I need to put it down into actual races.”
The men’s World Cup was won by Switzerland’s Marc Bischofberger, with Frenchman Jonathan Midol in second and Canada’s Brady Leman third.
Women’s World Cup ski cross, Val Thorens, France
1. Marielle Thompson (CAN), 2. Anna Holmlund (SWE), 3. Ophelie David (FRA), 4. Sanna Luedi (SUI), 5. Georgia Simmerling (CAN), 6. Alizee Baron (FRA), 13. Sami Kennedy-Sim (AUS).
Women’s ski cross standings after race 3
1. Marielle Thompson (CAN) 300, Georgia Simmerling (CAN) 205, 3. Anna Holmlund (SWE) 175, 4. Alizee Baron (FRA) 140, 5. Ophelie David (FRA) 134, 6. Fanny Smith (SUI) 125, 16. Sami Kennedy-Sim (AUS) 46.
Men’s World Cup ski cross, Val Thorens, France
1. Marc Bischofberger (SUI), 2. Jonathan Midol (FRA), 3. Brady Leman (CAN), 4. Armin Niederer (SUI), 5. Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA), 6. Arnaud Bovolenta (FRA), DNF Anton Grimus (AUS).
Men’s ski cross standings after race 3
1. Andreas Schauer (GER) 153, 2. Thomas Zangerl (AUT) 152, 3. Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA) 139, 4. Armin Niederer (SUI) 116, 5. Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE) 111, 6. Marc Bischofberger (SUI) 108, 25. Anton Grimus (AUS) 35.