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Aussie high flyers ready to bounce back

18 January 2018

AERIALS: Australia’s aerials contingent are jumping straight back in the saddle for this week’s Lake Placid in Lake Placid following disappointing results in their last outing.

Coach Jeff Bean described the team’s Deer Valley World Cup performance as being his “worst event in four years coaching with the team” but added that the Aussies are ready to “step up our game.”

“It just felt like everybody and everything was a little bit off across the board,” he said.

“We had some rough weather, but I don’t look at anything as an excuse, ever. We were just a little bit off, everybody was close but it was actually a good reminder for this week to just take care of the little things, take care of the details – the extra percentages here and there.”

Four-time Olympian Lydia Lassila missed out on progressing through to the first final by 0.63 points, finishing in 13th place in what was her first World Cup since March 2017.

Sam Wells finished 15th while Danielle Scott, who won gold in Secret Garden, China last December, came in at 17th and 2015 World Champion Laura Peel in 20th.

Two-time Olympian and Sochi silver medallist David Morris also narrowly missed out on making the men’s finals in Deer Valley, finishing just outside the top 12 in 14th place with a score of 104.98.

“The competition was actually really good, a lot of good jumps doing down which means you had to perform very well to get in [the finals],” he said.

“I unfortunately did a nice jump but not a fantastic landing, I got docked on my landing scores and was unable to make the finals.

“I’m not overly disappointed because really we’re just training for the Olympics so we can peak at the right moment – which is the whole team because we’ve all qualified so, at the moment, it’s just training and building up the skills and confidence leading into the Olympics.”

Bean said that “as painful as it was” for the Aussies, “it was a good reminder that it’s the details that help us win and have helped this program win in the past”, especially in the lead up to PyeongChang.

“That’s what we really need to get back to so luckily this wasn’t mid-February and we take it as a learning [opportunity] and we move on,” he said.

“Luckily we have two World Cups this week so we really get to get back on the horse right away which is a huge opportunity for us after a bad week.”

Fresh from the jump site, Bean said that Tuesday’s training “was probably the best we’ve had at a World Cup in probably a year”.

“The site was good, the weather was good – all of our girls did triple twists and double flips, Dave got up to triple flips so it really set us up for the week which is nice,” he said.

“And then we have a really good solid day of training tomorrow, we’ve already gone up two degrees of difficulties so we can work on our degree of difficulty. Quite often on World Cup you’re just scrambling to even do your jumps, here we can actually work on them.

With back-to-back competition days, the Flying Kangaroos will train again on Wednesday before taking Thursday off ahead of Friday and Saturday’s World Cups.

“I think the team’s actually feeling pretty good, [Deer Valley] was a good wake-up call for the staff as well as the athletes and everyone jumped well, just not well enough,” Bean said.

“We’ve just got to, for lack of a better term, step up our game and that’s what we’re doing this week, we’re just taking care of the details.

“Just raising the level of intensity a little bit for everyone because that’s what you need to do at this time of year in preparation for the Olympics because it’s going to be more stressful and more intense there so we have to be prepared for that.”

The final Aerials World Cups before PyeongChang will be held in Lake Placid, New York this Friday and Saturday. 

David Barden

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