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Scott and Peel through to Aerials finals

16 February 2018

AERIAL SKIING: Sochi Olympians Danielle Scott and Laura Peel have qualified for the women's Aerials finals on Friday night after a nail biting evening at Phoenix Snow Park. 

The first of the Aussies to hit the course, Scott progressed straight through to the finals after scoring 93.76 in her first qualification run. 

With Peel, dual Olympian Sam Wells and five-time Olympian Lydia Lassila finishing outside of the top 6 in teir first attempts, it all came down to the second qualification run to see which of the Aussie women would join Scott in the finals. 

After scoring 64.86 in her first run, 28-year-old Peel scored 89.46 in Run 2 and secured herself a spot in Friday's finals after finishing in third place. 

“I made a mistake on the first run today so hopefully thats out of the system," Peel said.

“You’re trying to think like it’s not the Olympics, its just any day and you’re trying to nail that jump.

"I feel confident that I still have good jumps [in the bag] and I just need to put them down tomorrow."

Making her fifth and final Olympic appearance, a crash by Vancouver 2010 bronze medallist Lassila saw her score 66.27 and finish in 14th place. 

"This is an outside sport and you can't control a lot of things and tonight I just couldn't control the speed," she said.

With an Olympic career spanning nearly two decades, Lassila said she was disappointed with her final Winter Games performance.

"It's a feeling of loss in a way ... you've lost an opportunity but that's sport and you've got to reflect on the good and happy moments that I've had with my kids, my family, my friends -- life is good," she said.

"Five olympics, I never thought I'd go to five, never win a a gold.

"I love this ... I'll miss it."

The 37-year-old added that while she was "bummed" about Thursday's result, she was incredibly proud of herself and happy to finish her World Cup career prior to PyeongChang with a gold and bronze in Lake Placid, USA.

"It's been a wild ride to bring the boys along and have them at training camps and just prove that you can do it as a mother ... you can do it all," she said.

"I'm really proud of that campaign that I could manage to do that, it's not easy. It's not easy for an athlete that's 17-years-old with no responsibilities but for a 36-year-old with real-life responsibilities, it's a challenge to make sure that no-one is missing out on anything, that everyone has got their needs met, not just myself."

Teammate Laura Peel said that Lassila was an "incredible woman" who has "done so much" for Aerial Skiing in Australia.

Wells finished in 17th place with a score of 58.27. 

David Barden

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