Kneller and Crema will be cheered on by Lassila...
Olympic gold medallist Lydia Lassila will return to the snow at Hotham this weekend but sadly for her legions of fans, Australia’s Queen of aerial skiing will not be jumping. Lassila, who became a first-time mother three months ago, will make her first trip to Hotham “just to have a bit of a ski around.”
She’s will be attending as the Suzuki Ambassador for the FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Ski-X action coming up this Sunday and Monday. Two athletes likely to be shaking Lassila’s hand at the victory ceremony will be fellow Olympians Scott Kneller, who also won a World Cup event during the last northern hemisphere winter, and Australia’s second ranked ski cross rider, Katya Crema. Australia’s number one female ski cross athlete Jenny Owens has elected not to compete at Hotham this weekend. Hotham local Billy Sheldon will also be competing for Continental Cup points in the series.
Lassila has set herself the goal of becoming the first mother to win a Winter Olympic Games aerial gold medal when she represents Australia at Sochi 2014, in Russia.The Melbourne-based Australian Institute of Sport athlete scored an inspirational win at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010, continuing the nation’s proud history in aerials.
Meanwhile, the FIS Suzuki Australia New Zealand Cup Alpine Racing wrapped up at Hotham yesterday with the second of the slalom events.
Nineteen-year-old Australian Emily Bamford from Buller scored back-to-back victories, 0.79 of a second faster than Australia’s other teenage sensation, Greta Small, 15, a Hotham skier.
Bamford’s wins from Wednesday and yesterday, plus a third place on Monday and second on Tuesday, mean that she has stood on the podium each day of the Suzuki ANC series. Australian Hannah Sugarman was third. Australian Mike Rishmore finished second in the men’s competition, challenging the event’s winner, Sweden’s Tim Lindgren all the way, going down by only 0.31 of a second. Belgium’s Bart Mollin was third.
Results - Women’s Suzuki ANC slalom at Hotham:
1. Emily Bamford (AUS) 1:40.97, 2. Greta Small (AUS) 1:40.86, 3. Hannah Sugarman (AUS) 1:49.99
Results - Men’s Suzuki ANC slalom at Hotham:
1. Tim Lindgren (SWE) 1:29.48, 2. Mike Rishworth (AUS) 1:29.79, 3. Bart Mollin (BEL) 1:30.30
Photo: Katya Crema in action at last year's Ski-X event in Hotham (by Steve Cuff, Sports Photographics)
19 August 2011