Lassila and Scott win aerials gold and silver in Minsk
26 February 2017
AERIALS: Australia’s Super Saturday in winter sports moved up another notch last night in Minsk, Belarus when Lydia Lassila won her second World Cup and Danielle Scott took silver, reclaiming the overall Aerial Skiing World Cup number one position.
“My jumping is getting better as the season goes on,” Lassila said of her second gold in four outings this season.
“I’ve toned down my excitement from my first win but I’m equally wrapped.”
For the third consecutive event, wind and weather have played their part in the art of strategy in this mercurial sport, where a small difference in wind speed can make or break a podium finish.
“This week we were a lot smarter. It was pretty windy but we got it right today. We waited for the wind gusts and found the windows. Even 2 kilometres difference in wind speed makes a big difference,” Lassila said.
Danielle Scott had paid the price for a strong wind gust in her previous World Cup and she wasn’t about to let it happen again.
“The qualifying jump kind of bummed me out because it was wind affected,” Scott said.
“For the final, I didn’t mind what the weather was. I definitely went in with a good mind set.
China’s highly respected and favoured Mengtao Xu was last to jump in the final and Scott admits to some nerves watching the event reach its conclusion.
“Watching at the end was a bit nerve racking. My goal this season has been the yellow bib. It was such a fantastic day and huge that – as a team – we are all working so well together.”
Fifth place overall went to an ecstatic Samantha Wells who qualified top of the Australian women into the super final.
“Sam has had a great event,” said coach Jeff Bean. “She had two very high scoring jumps. We were close to a sweep and it’s just fabulous.”
Laura Peel started the day brilliantly, making it four out of four Flying Kangaroos through to the top twelve but cam unstuck on the landing in the first final and was unable to join her team mates in the top six.
“I’m disappointed for Laura,” coach Bean said. “She’s happy, healthy and jumping well and just on the cusp of top results.”
Geoff Lipshut, Olympic Winter Institute of Australia CEO commented afterwards, “ It was great for all four athletes to make it through to the top 12.”
“Unfortunately, Laura just missed the top six, and what a comeback by Lydia, two wins and ranked third in the world already. Danielle now has the yellow bib back for next week’s final. It will be an exciting end to the season and great job by our athletes and coaches.”
Dave Morris didn’t have the day he hoped for and was disappointed to not progress to the top twelve after missing the landing and placing 24th.
The Aerial skiers travel to Moscow for the World Cup final on March 4, which will be held in city on scaffolding.
The Aerial Skiing World Championships are in Sierra, Nevada, Spain on March 10.