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Cooper moves closer to record tally with Swiss victory

5 March 2006

Jacqui Cooper emphatically demonstrated that her world record jump in Torino was not a one-off achievement, landing a 113 point-plus triple twisting triple somersault on the way to the 16th World Cup victory of her career.

The latest gold medal, in the Swiss resort of Davos, leaves her just one win short of the all-time aerial skiing record of 17 career victories jointly held by Australia's Kirstie Marshall and Canadian Marie-Claud Asselin.

Cooper qualified in sixth position after her first jump, reduced to a double twisting double somersault due to adverse wind conditions.

But in tonight's final, she repeated her near perfect triple twisting triple, earning 113.19 points from the judges to post the second highest scoring jump in history, just 0.61 of a point behind her Torino qualifying effort.

Her total score of 196.50 points was more than nine points ahead of silver medallist Alla Tsuper of Belarus (187.15). Olympic champion Evelyne Leu was in third place on 174.47 points. Cooper's team-mate Liz Gardner finished in ninth place on 149.86 points.

The 33-year-old Cooper was understandably wishing it had all happened in Torino, but delighted with her ability to bounce back from the disappointment of the Olympic final.

"I'm just so happy I could do it," Cooper said. "We had a huge tail wind for qualifying this morning and I wasn't feeling comfortable about doing triples, so I opted to just do doubles, and finished up in sixth place, which I thought was a little harsh even though I was a bit dodgy on the landing."

"Then tonight I cold-started training by going straight to triples and landed some beautiful jumps and just thought I can do this."

"I didn't think it was as good as the Torino jump, though it was a better landing, but it's definitely the second best jump I have ever done."

"I got so much confidence out of the qualifying jumps at the Games, and I feel I have learnt so much now about what I have to do that there's no reason I can't keep getting these results."

"I feel there has been a real surge and that I'm jumping better than ever - I just wish it wasn't happening when I'm 33." Cooper is looking at going to the World Cup finals in Apex, Canada, in two weeks, seeking the record-equalling 17th victory.

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