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Third Aerials gold in five events for Lassila

5 March 2017

AERIALS: Lydia Lassila has won her third gold medal at the Aerial Skiing World Cup Final in Moscow, Russia overnight, completing a fairy-tale comeback for the mother of two and dual Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist.

She was joined on the podium by 2015 World Champion Laura Peel who took bronze and her first medal this season. 

Danielle Scott, the world standing leader coming into the event, also made the final six and was unlucky not to have made the landing, leaving her in fifth place. Scott had to settle for an overall second – matching her result from last season. 

35-year-old Lassila was rock solid throughout last night’s event leading from the outset in qualifying with 95.88 points, which she backed up in the first final with 99.75 points before cracking the century barrier as the last to jump in the super final scoring 100.11 ahead of China’s Xu Mengtao.

To cap off her successful return, Lassila came in third on the overall standings with 354 points behind Xu Mengtao (480 points) and Danielle Scott (447 points).

“We didn’t get lots of training in Moscow, but I felt like I knew what I was doing tonight. It’s nice to get that quality back,” Lassila said of her three strong jumps.

“I wanted to come here and win. It’s rewarding when you think you can do something and then go do it.”

Finally making the podium this season was Laura Peel who, “wanted to put it all out there”, this weekend.

“Tonight definitely felt good,” Peel said of her bronze medal. “I had been disappointed the last few weeks and wanted to put it all out there.”

The defending 2015 World Champion has had a long road back after a near career-ending injury that kept her out of the 2015/16 season but all that is behind her now.

“Tonight is a confidence booster. The format at World Championships is slightly different with three different jumps after qualifying instead of two. I’ve now successfully competed both versions of my triple twisting double and I will need both next week.”

For Danielle Scott, the overall title she wanted was so near.

“It’s heartbreaking,” a disappointed Scott said of the final jump of the season that cost her the overall world title.

“The jump was perfect. I placed my feet down and there was nothing wrong – the landing just didn’t happen.”

Though heartbroken, Scott says that “It’s been a good season. I will have to put my head down for next week.”

Samantha Wells and Dave Morris both placed 16th in the qualification round and were unable to progress to the first final.

The Flying Kangaroos Aerial Skiing Team results throughout the 2016/17 season has been one of the most successful on record with every team member making the podium at least once. 

Nine medals were achieved by the five team members including;

Four Gold: Lassila – 3, Scott – 1

Three Silver: Scott - 3

Two Bronze: Wells; Peel, Scott and Morris in the Beida Lake Team Event

The Flying Kangaroos will join the mogul skiers, snowboarders, ski cross and slopestyle athletes in Sierra Nevada, Spain for the World Championships, which begin on Wednesday, March 8 with mogul skiing.

The qualifying round for Aerial Skiing World Championships will be held on Friday, March 10 with the finals at 5.30am (AEDT) on Saturday, March 11. 

Belinda Noonan

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