Lydia sets world record

16 January 2010

Aerial skier Lydia Lassila has put the world on notice - just six weeks out from the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games – with a world record performance at the World Cup in Deer Valley, Utah.

It was a great day for the Australian aerial team. Jacqui Cooper finished seventh in her first competition since hip surgery and Dave Morris continued to shine in his first World Cup season placing ninth.

Lassila, 28, nailed two triple somersaults for a combined world record score of 220.91. She opened the competition with the hardest trick any women perform - a triple-twisting triple somersault with a double twist in the middle, 4.175 degree of difficulty (DD) for a score of 113.56. She led by over 20 points going into the final jump.

The defending World Cup Champion from Melbourne didn’t hold back in the second jump scoring 107.35 with a back-Lay-Full-Full (3.800 DD) for a total score of 220.91.

In second place with a score of 207.00 was China’s Xu Mengtao who performed the same jumps as Lassila in reverse order.

“I'm so happy to have done that trick and that's the jump I want to compete with at Vancouver,'' Lassila said. “It was awesome tonight -- wow, a world record.''

Lassila's victory followed hot on the heels of Dale Begg-Smith's triumph in the mogul skiing World Cup event on the same mountain on Friday night.

Cooper, the former world number one, was always planning to jump doubles with a lower degree of difficulty in this her first competition for the season. She executed both perfectly for a total score of 173.88.

There were five Chinese jumpers between Lassila and Cooper. With not all of them able to qualify for the Games and Cooper yet to unveil her triples the signs are good for the Australians.

Liz Gardner and Bree Munro failed to qualify for the final placing 19th and 20th respectively from their first jumps.

Australia’s only male aerial skier Dave Morris continues to show he deserves his spot at the Olympic Games after another top 10 result and a total score of 223.78.

The next World Cup meet for the aerial team will be Lake Placid on the 21st of January.

Andrew Reid



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