AERIAL SKIING: Australian aerial skier Danielle Scott’s blossoming career grew yet again today when she captured her first World Cup medal in Lake Placid, USA.
The 23-year-old was a picture of consistency throughout the day, which came to a crescendo with a well-executed full full – a double twisting double summersault – in the super-final.
Scott recorded a score of 89.77 to place her second in the last event before the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in Russia, starting February 7.
Scott’s full full was so impressive that she was just 1.52 points from snatching victory from China’s Nina Li, who scored 91.29 points, which was assisted by a higher degree of difficulty.
The silver medal has helped Scott cement her place in the top 10 world rankings alongside two other Australians, Lydia Lassila and Laura Peel, meaning that Australians are sixth, fourth and ninth respectively.
With her second place in a nail biting finish between the day’s three medal winners, Scott prevented a Chinese 1-2-3, with Xin Zhang’s triple twisting double summersault being judged 2.71 points behind the Australian in third.
The result was the second time this week that three Australian women have achieved top 10 finishes.
Scott was one of three Aussie women in the qualification session to advance to the first final, consisting of the top 12 athletes.
With fellow squad members Laura Peel and Samantha Wells unable to score high enough to make the four-woman super-final, Scott rose to the occasion in just her 19th World Cup appearance and continued to lift her reputation in the sport.
The next best Aussie was Samantha Wells, who finished in eighth in another example of consistency, which backs up a fourth in the Val St Come World Cup in Canada just four days ago.
Four places back was Laura Peel while reigning Olympic Champion Lydia Lassila was 22nd, resulting from being unable to land her jump in the qualification session.
Australia’s only male aerial skier, David Morris, also made the final, placing eighth overall, with the squad’s fifth member, Renee McElduff in 29th.
Scott said that the silver medal was the best result of her career, even surpassing the third place she achieved in the World Championships in Norway in March 2013.
“Performance-wise this is the best result of my career,” Scott said
“’I’m at my most competitive now with harder jumps.
“Leading up to this event I down-graded my degree of difficulty but when I got here I said ‘this is it, go for it’ and I put it down.
“I didn’t get a lot of training going into this event and things weren’t going my way. I had to work pretty hard to get my confidence back up again.
“I was just looking at doing my best and doing my jumps well at this event but to come out of it with a podium, I’m just ecstatic and that has really built my confidence up for Sochi. I’m just super excited.”
The squad will train for three days in Lake Placid before turning their attention to the final leg of their Sochi preparation with a training camp in Ruka, Finland.
Women’s World Cup aerial skiing, Lake Placid, USA
1. Nina Li (CHN), 2. Danielle Scott (AUS), 3. Xin Zhang (CHN), 4. Mengtao Xu (CHN), 5. Emily Cook (USA), 6. Sicun Xu (CHN), 8. Samantha Wells (AUS), 12 Laura Peel (AUS), 22. Lydia Lassila (AUS), 29. Renee McElduff (AUS).
Women’s World Cup standings after round 5
1. Nina Li (CHN) 356, 2. Xin Zhang (CHN) 316, 3. Mengtao Xu (CHN) 246, 4. Lydia Lassila (AUS) 210, 5. Shuang Cheng (CHN) 207, 6. Danielle Scott (AUS) 184, 9. Laura Peel (AUS) 143, 12. Samantha Wells (AUS) 128, 22. Renee McElduff (AUS) 59.
Men’s World Cup aerial skiing, Lake Placid, USA
1. Guangpu Qi (CHN), 2. Zhongqing Liu (CHN), 3. Alexei Grishin (BLR), 4. Dmitri Dashinski (BLR), 5. Pavel Krotov (RUS), 6. Michael Rossi (USA), 8. David Morris (AUS).
Men’s World Cup standings after round 5
1. Zhongqing Liu (CHN) 308, 2. GuangpuQi (CHN) 268, 3. Anton Kushnir (BLR) 243, 4. Alexei Grishin (BLR) 200, 5. Travis Gerrits (CAN) 197, 6. David Morris (AUS) 190.