Competing in Val Thorens, France, the Australian Institute of Sport/NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holder ended the day with the best World Cup result of her career and her first appearance in a World Cup final, behind the winning Canadian Marielle Thompson, Switzerland’s Katrin Mueller in second and Frenchwoman Ophelie David in third.
Kennedy-Sim finished fourth overall to record a confidence boosting result, with just 20 days to go to the opening of the Sochi Games in Russia and two days before the Sochi qualification cut-off date.
Although Kennedy-Sim was 3.8 seconds slower than the fastest qualifier, which put her in the last few places to make the 32-woman finals draw, Kennedy-Sim displayed determination and impressive speed throughout day two of the double header in France.
She skied strategically in the first knock-out round and again in the quarter finals before turning on an even more impressive performance in the semi-finals, finishing second to Thompson and earning a place in her first World Cup final.
Kennedy-Sim recaptured the form that enabled her to finish the 2011/2012 season with a world ranking of 11 and was headed towards second place in the final but unfortunately she went wide on the last turn before the finish line, which washed off precious speed.
With just 200 metres to race, Kennedy-Sim was overtaken for a place on the podium but she retains the confidence from bettering her previous best place in World Cup, a fifth in Canada in February 2012.
AIS ski cross program head coach Matt Lyons said that Kennedy-Sim's performance was a strong result.
“She can take a lot of confidence away from the day. She started each of her heats well. She was pretty much the fastest out in every heat and skied the top section really aggressively and really well.
"She maintained her position when she was being challenged by others. She did a good job.”
Fellow AIS/NSWIS squad members Jenny Owens was 23rd and Katya Crema was 26th, with both athletes unable to go further into the draw than the first final.
Crema was unlucky not to progress to the quarter finals, given that she was in a position to finish second in her heat, but she was passed by two athletes within a metre from the line, dropping the AIS/NSWIS skier back to fourth spot.
Owens missed the start in her heat and misjudged her speed with two jumps, pushing her down to third place in the heat, outside the top two places needed to advance to the next round.
Another AIS/NSWIS athlete, Australia’s only male in the event, Anton Grimus, who was the fastest qualifier on day one, was 17th after finishing third in a knock-out final.
The men’s event was won by American John Teller, while Sweden’s Victor Oehling Norberg was second and third going to Canadian David Duncan.
The squad will continue their World Cup season in Kreischberg, Austria, next weekend.