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Australian Aerial Skiing team makes World Championship history

11 March 2017

AERIALS: Australia featured on the men’s and women’s Aerial Skiing podiums at the 2017 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, with Danielle Scott claiming silver and David Morris bronze in a best ever Australian Aerial Skiing Team performance at a ‎World Championships.  

It is the first time Morris has made the podium this season with the 32-year-old overcoming injury to claim his first World Championship medal.

“I’ve had pretty bad training and a couple of injuries which have kept me out of my peak form,” Morris said.

“I got all the way to the super final and had a little freak out at the top, but went big and it worked out pretty well,” he said.  

The Olympic silver medallist’s strategy was to pay attention to his competition.

“I qualified in a good position so we had the opportunity to watch some people do some jumps before me and then I let the coaches decide if I could downgrade my jump or not.

“So in the first final run I got to do a full-full-full which is a little bit easier. It saved the harder tricks for later and that was really the plan and that went nice and smoothly.”

Morris was ranked second after final one, fifth after final two before finishing third in the ultimate round. His final jump, a back double full-full-full earned a score of 114.13.

The result has invigorated Morris to push for further Olympic success at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.

“I’m feeling pretty good about it but again anything can happen in any competition as shown today, lots of surprises and some incredible jumps and some people crashing that don’t normally crash.

“I’m excited for the next year, I know the competition is going to be good as shown today.”

Consistency has been the key to Scott’s season and the 27-year-old continued this trend in Friday’s final, progressing through each round with steady performances.

“It is hard to be consistent because we deal with so many variables, whether it is weather or just your own nerves or ability and health,” Scott said. 

“For me I love to go out there and have as much fun as I can. If I’m not having a good day that’s usually when I can’t perform. I love to go out there with the best feeling that I can.”

Scott’s silver medal is an improvement on the bronze that she won at the 2013 World Championships. 

Her first jump, a back full-full scored 81.27 points for sixth position. In the round of nine she performed a back double full-full, which received a score of 84.95. The Sochi Olympian saved her best for last, performing a career best back full-double full in the final round to score 94.47.

US Skier Ashley Caldwell outperformed the all-star field, successfully landing a back full-double full-full, which scored 109.29 points, the first time a woman has landed the jump (which was pioneered by 2010 Olympic Champion Lydia Lassila) in competition.

In Friday’s final Lassila was unable to stick the landing on her first jump, a back full-full, and finished 11th with 62.37 points. 

Sochi Olympian Samantha Wells scored 69.30 for her first jump, also a back full-full, to finish 10th overall.

The reigning women’s World Champion Laura Peel progressed to the round of nine but she came unstuck when attempting to land a back full-double full and her 62.39 points relegated her to eighth position overall. 

The men’s event was won by US Skier Jonathan Lillis who scored 125.79 for his final round jump.

Michelle Cook

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