Aussie skiers top of the world
AUSTRALIAN skiers have celebrated one of their best ever northern winter seasons, with mogul skier Britt Cox leading the charge with a World Championship gold medal in Sierra Nevada, Spain, plus taking out the Crystal Globe overall World Cup champion.
Aerial skiers also graced the World Championship podium, with David Morris collecting a bronze medal and Danielle Scott a silver medal.
Until this year, Cox had not won a mogul World Cup event, but she returned to Australia with a swag of medals having won seven gold and two bronze. She did not finish outside the top ten all season and capped it off by jointly winning Australian snowsports athlete of the year.
Cox, who is one of the most likable athletes has dedicated herself to the sport since debuting on the big stage at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. From a baby faced 15 year old she has grown into now the best female mogul skier in the world.
“All season this was the event in the back of my mind, this was the event that I really wanted to be successful at,” Cox said of the World Championship.
“To be successful here and ski the way I did, I couldn’t be happier.”
Cox qualified in first position and never took her foot off the pedal, powering home with a score of 83.63 to outclass Perrine Laffont from France (82.51), with reigning Olympic and World Champion Justine DufourLapointe (80.74) of Canada in third position.
“A lot of people have been asking me what clicked this season and I don’t think anything necessarily clicked, it was more a matter of all the training I have done over a number of years finally paying off for me,” Cox said.
World Championship debutants, Jakara Anthony placed 12th and Madi Himbury finished 20th in the women’s event. Anthony finished 22nd overall in the World Cup standings and Himbury 26th.
Fellow mogul skiers Nicole Parks finished the season ranked 30th, her best finish an 8th in Deer Valley before a knee injury ended her season early. Krystle Yin finished ranked 28 and Claudia Gueli 24.
The men’s mogul squad performed well on the World Cup circuit, with Matt Graham winning in January to celebrate a double header for Australia in Calgary, Canada, with Britt Cox. Graham’s season looked to be on the rise with four podiums overall, and while ranked 3rd in the world he would have been wanting more at the World Championships. He finished a disappointing 14th, while fellow teammates Brodie Summers placed 11th and Rohan ChapmanDavies 15th.
Summers had his best ever performance in China, reaching the podium with a silver medal. He has improved this season, was 8th in the World Cup standings and is on the rise for next year. Aerials
The aerial team has continued their ongoing success, which dates back well over a decade. With Morris and Scott starring at the World Championships, Winter Olympic Gold medallist Lydia Lassila made a successful comeback on the World Cup circuit. Lassila captured three gold medals and finished the season ranked third overall, just behind Danielle Scott.
Australian women have four of the top 12 placings, with Scott securing two World Cup silver medals, Laura Peel with one podium bronze in Russia and 6th in the standings and Samantha Wells ranked 12th.
Morris’ bronze at the World Championships came as a surprise, as his form was down this season and is ranked 18th overall. Ski Cross and Slopestyle
Sami Kennedy-Sim has finished her best ever World Cup season for results, with a podium finish 2nd place in Idre Fjall, Sweden, and consistently in the top ten. She finished the season standings at 12th.
Anton Grimus had a season he would rather forget, missing most of the events due to injury.
Slopestyle skier Russell Henshaw has had his fair share of injuries in past seasons, so he was delighted with a World Cup podium finish in Italy, finishing 3rd. He has been consistent in qualifications but has not been able to finish it off in the finals but still retains 8th overall on the standings.
◆ STAMPEDE: Britt Cox and Matt Graham rode home dual mogul World Cup wins in Calgary. ◆ VICTORY: Aerial skier Lydia Lassila winning at Deer Valley, USA.