Aussie skiers top of the world

Alpine News - - News - By Steve Cuff

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.

PHOTO: FIS

◆ 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.

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