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Record weekend for winter athletes

14 January 2013

With the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi just over 12 month away Australia's winter athletes have produced a record weekend of World Cup success.

In the most successful 24 hours for Australian skiers and snowboarders two World Cup victories and three other podium finishes where achieved in the USA and Canada.

Headlining the impressive achievements, current Olympic gold medallist Torah Bright and reigning World Champion and Australian Institute of Sport / NSW Institute of Sport rider Nate Johnstone secured a double victory for Australia in the women’s and men’s snowboard halfpipe World Cup at Copper Mountain in the United States.

Bright is back to near best form while Johnstone’s win was described by AIS halfpipe coach Benny Alexander as one of the best wins of his career, given the high caliber field that he triumphed over.

Johnstone’s win elevates the 22-year-old Perisher based rider to the world’s number one ranking going into this week’s World Championships at Stoneham, Canada, where he will no doubt start the event with high expectations of defending the crown he won in Spain in 2011.

Bright won ahead of former Olympic gold medallist Kelly Clark from the United States and Spanish rider Queralt Castellet was third.

Johnstone was too good for Americans Luke Mitrani and Louie Vito, who were second and third in the 83 man field.

Australia’s other winter Olympic Games golden girl Lydia Lassila took another step towards her dream of a follow-up Olympic medal in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games when she finished second in World Cup aerial skiing in Val Saint Come, Canada.

Lassila’s silver medal was her second podium finish in a week, after returning to World Cup competition in China last weekend for the first time in three years.

China’s Mengtao Xu backed up her win last weekend with another, while compatriot Yu Yang was third.

Lassila was not the only exciting result for AIS / Victorian Institute of Sport aerial skiers with Laura Peel returning to form with a fourth place, her best result for the season, and Danielle Scott scoring a World Cup personal best with a fifth position, resulting in Australian athletes filling three of the top five.

Lassila and Scott are currently ranked two and three in the world and together with Peel, Australians fill three of the top 6 places.

On the men’s side, comeback aerial skier David Morris recorded his best ever World Cup result, a fourth place, narrowly missing a spot on the podium.

In the newly added Olympic discipline of slopestyle skiing, AIS athlete Anna Segal, currently ranked fourth in the world, and Russ Henshaw, ranked equal third, finished third and second respectively in the Copper Mountain World Cup event.

Results – women’s World Cup half pipe final, Copper Mountain, USA
1. Torah Bright (AUS), 2. Kelly Clark (USA), 3. Queralt Castellet (SPA), 4. Arielle Gold (USA), 5. Kaitlyn Farrington (USA), 6. Ellery Hollingsworth (USA), 27. Stephanie Magiros (AUS), 35. Holly Crawford (AUS).

Women’s snowboard halfpipe World Cup standings after round two
1. Kelly Clark (USA) 1800, 2. Torah Bright (AUS) 1290, 3. Queralt Castellet (SPA) 1200, 4. Sophie Rodriguez (FRA) 1000, 5. Hannah Teter (USA) 790, 6. Kaitlyn Farrington (USA) 770, 11. Holly Crawford (AUS) 470, Stephanie Magiros (AUS)115, 34. Fitch Alexandra (AUS) 67.

Results – men’s World Cup half pipe final, Copper Mountain, USA
1. Nathan Johnstone (AUS), 2. Luke Mitrani (USA), 3. Louie Vito (USA), 4. Arthur Longo (FRA), 5. Zachary Black (USA), 6. Gregory Bretz (USA), 9. Kent Callister (AUS), 28. James Scott (AUS)

Men’s snowboard halfpipe World Cup standings after round two
1. Nathan Johnstone (AUS) 1160, 2. Shuhei Sato (JPN) 1020, 3. Ryo Aono (JPN) 1000, 4. Luke Mitrani (USA) 800, 5. Yiwei Zhang (CHN) 750, 6. Matthew Ladley (USA) 630, 11. Kent Callister (AUS) 490, 21. James Scott (AUS) 280.

Results – women’s World Cup aerial skiing, Val Saint Come, Canada
1. Mengtao Xu (CHN), 2. Lydia Lassila (AUS), 3. Yu Yang (CHN), 4. Laua Peel (AUS), 5. Danielle Scott  (AUS), 6. Veronika Korsunova (RUS), 12. Renne McElduff (AUS), 14. Samantha Wells (AUS).

Women’s aerial skiing World Cup standings after round two
1. Mengtao Xu (CHN) 200, 2.Lydia Lassila (AUS) 160, 3. Danielle Scott (AUST) 85, 4. Yu Yang (CHN) 84, 5. Emily Cook (USA) 74, 6. Laura Peel (AUS) 63, 13. Renee McElduff (AUS) 36, 14. Samantha Wells (AUS) 36.

Results – Men’s World Cup aerial skiing, Val Saint Come, Canada
1. Dmitri Dashinski (BLR), 2. Travis Gerrits (CAN), 3. Hang Zhou (CHN), 4. David Morris (AUS), 5. Oleksandr Abramenko (UKR), 6. Zongyang Jia (CHN).

Men’s aerial skiing World Cup standings after round two
1. Zongyang Jia (CHN) 140, 2. Travis Gerrits (CAN) 109, 3. Dmitri Dashinski (BLR) 100, 4. Guangpu Qi (CHN) 96, 5. Olivier Rochon (CAN) 92, 6. Hang Zhou (CHN) 80, 7. David Morris (AUS) 74.

Results – women’s World Cup slopestyle skiing, Copper Mountain, USA
1. Keri Herman USA), 2. Dara Howell (CAN), 3. Anna Segal (AUS), 4. Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen (NOR), 5. Kaya Turski (CAN), 6. Ashley Battersby (USA).

Women’s slopestyle skiing World Cup standings after round two
1. Keri Herman (USA) 200, 2. Dara Howell (CAN) 140, 3. Eveline Bhend (SUI) 102, 4. Anna Segal (AUS) 60, 5. Dominique Ohaco (CHI) 58, 6. Giorgia Bertoncini (ITA) 54.

Results – Men’s World Cup slopestyle skiing, Copper Mountain, USA
1. James Woods (GBR), 2. Russell Henshaw (AUS), 3. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN), 4. Bobby Brown (USA), 5. Nicholas Goepper (USA), 6. Johan Berg (NOR).

Men’s slopestyle skiing World Cup standings after round two
1. James Woods (USA) 200, 2. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN) 110, 3. Henrik Harlaut (SWE) 80, 4. Russell Henshaw (AUS) 80, 5. Jonas Hunziker (SUI) 74, 6. Mcrae Williams (USA) 56.

Olympic Winter Institute of Australia