Aussie skier Laura Peel's huge gold medal-winning feat

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Australian aerial skier Laura Peel waves to the camera after her final jump at the FIS World Cup.
Australian aerial skier Laura Peel has won gold at the FIS World Cup in Kazakhstan, making her one of the favourites to win a medal in the event at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Picture: Twitter/FISfreestyle

Australian skier Laura Peel has cemented her place among the world's best aerial skiers after winning her second gold medal at the FIS World Championships in Kazakhstan.

Peel last held the title back in 2015, but her scintillating performance at the 2021 World Championships leaves her as the favourite for gold at the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

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Third after the qualifying rounds, Peel landed an immensely difficult back-full-full-full in the superfinal to clutch out victory, with fellow Australian competitor Danielle Scott finishing fourth.

It was an impressive effort from Scott, who made her return to competition at the event following a serious knee injury.

It was Peel's day though, with the 31-year-old glad she saved her best for last.

"My qualification jumps weren't my best but I saved my best for the final," the dual Olympian said.

"It's only the second time I've completed that jump and I'm so happy to put it down.

"The second time (winning the world title) feels even better."

Peel, who hails from Canberra, was ahead of second placed American rival Ashley Caldwell by nearly five points, with her successful superfinal jump scored a 106.46 to 101.47.

Scott also impressed in her comeback from knee surgery, having finished fourth behind Peel after the qualifying rounds.

Australia's Laura Peel celebrates with the gold medal after winning the aerials event at the FIS World Cup in Kazakhstan. (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images)
Australia's Laura Peel celebrates with the gold medal after winning the aerials event at the FIS World Cup in Kazakhstan. (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images)

She won her comeback event, the Deer Valley World Cup in Utah, and proved it was no fluke with her strong performance in Kazakhstan.

Her only major blemish was an edge she caught on landing her superfinal jump

Cancelled Olympic freestyle test events find home in Kazakhstan

The freestyle ski aerials and moguls world championships have found a new venue this season in Kazakhstan, after all 2022 Olympic test events in China were wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

The international ski federation (FIS) and the Chinese authorities in December cancelled all Beijing test events scheduled this season "due to the development of the Covid-19 pandemic and health and safety measures".

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The cancellations included the Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard World Championships in Zhangjiakou on February 18-22.

On Friday FIS announced that the aerials and moguls events would be staged in the ski resort of Shymbulak, outside Almaty, on March 8-11.

They will be followed immediately by the World Cup finals in the two disciplines which had already been scheduled for Shymbulak on March 13-14.

With AFP

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