The 23-year-old Australian Institute of Sport / NSW Institute of Sport athlete yesterday recorded a career best World Cup finish at Les Contamines, the same mountain that launched her World Cup career in January 2008.
Crema finished in seventh place in the fifth ski cross event on the World Cup calendar, her best result in 33 World Cup starts.
The event was won by Switzerland’s Sanna Luedi, with the French duo of Alizee Baron and Ophelie David in second and third in the overall final.
After qualifying 15th, finishing second in a quarter final and fourth in a semi-final, Crema then endured some aggressive racing with Norwegian Marte Hoeie Gjefsen in the opening stage of the consolation final.
However, despite the contact, Crema held her nerve and race speed but crossed the line in third place and seventh overall, behind Hoeie Gjefsen and her teammate Hedda Berntsen, who won the consolation final.
AIS ski cross program head coach Matt Lyons has been expecting Crema to make the finals this season but added that she’d had her share of bad luck so far, preventing the Australian from enjoying the results she is capable of achieving.
“Katya has trained very well all season and just needed some luck to go her way,” Lyons said.
“She was due to make a final and it’s a great result that it has happened.”
Australia’s most successful female World Cup ski cross athlete, Jenny Owens, delivered a strong qualifying run, stopping the clock as the 6th fastest, however, the unpredictability of ski cross took its toll in the quarter final, forcing the experienced Australian to miss the semis.
In other result from Les Contamines, Sami Kennedy-Sim finished 29th and Anton Grimus was 48th in the men’s competition, which was won by Switzerland’s Alex Fiva, Norway’s Didrik Bastian Juell in second and Canada’s Nick Zoricic in third.
The team now heads to Lenk, Switzerland, where they will train with the Swedish and Russian teams before heading to a Europa Cup event in Switzerland, where Kennedy-Sim finished third last year.