WEEKEND WRITE-UP: Building up to Beijing

​In VIS Sport, the aerial skiing World Cup season has commenced in Ruka, Finland, as Dean Hewitt and his curling Mixed Doubles partner Tahli Gill begin their historic quest for Olympic qualification.

Image: Fifth for Scott at Ruka World Cup, Image Credit: Chris Hocking/OWIA

Aerial Skiing

4/12: Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, Danielle Scott has continued her strong start to the 2021-2022 World Cup season, finishing in equal fifth place in Ruka, Finland.
 
Improving on her eighth place finish in the first day of competition, Scott performed her double full-full double twisting double back somersault, scoring 89.18 points in the one jump competition.
 
The 31-year-old has relocated to Queensland in order to water jump at the brand new Geoff Henke Olympic Winter Training Centre in Brisbane’s Sleeman Centre and will look to increase her degree of difficulty in her jumps as the season progresses.
 
“It’s been a pretty good start to the season, just slowly building” said the double World Championship medallist.
 
“It’s crazy, we are finally in the fourth year of the Olympic quad, it feels like a long time coming, just with COVID and everything being so different, but I feel ready, and we have to keep building, it’s only December.”
 
2021 World Cup and World Champion Laura Peel again jumped the highest degree of difficulty in the women’s field, with her full-full-full triples twisting triple back somersault scoring 76.84 points after having trouble with her landing, giving her a final ranking of 13th.
 
“I am getting up there with degree of difficulty, so I am putting in the work for what’s ahead in the season” said the two-time winter Olympian.

Read MORE | OWIA 

3/12: The aerial skiing World Cup season has commenced with a double event overnight in Ruka, Finland, with Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder Laura Peel narrowly missing out on the podium in fourth place.
 
The 2021 World and World Cup Champion from Canberra was the only female athlete to jump triple back somersaults in finals and had the highest scoring jump of the day, scoring 97.38 points with her full-tuck-full, double twisting triple back somersault to advance to the top-six medal round in first place.
 
In the medal round, Peel was performing the difficult full-full-full triple twisting triple back somersault jump, but unfortunately had trouble on landing to score 77.70 points to just fall short of the podium.
 
While disappointed to miss the podium, Peel showed her class as the only triple jumper in a positive sign for the upcoming season.
 
Two-time Olympian and multiple World Championship medallist Danielle Scott qualified strongly in second place, and in finals just missed out on the medal round by less than two points, after scoring 79.38 points with her double full-full, triple twisting double back somersault.
 
Fanyu Kong from China took the win with a score of 89.53 points, with a tie for second place with Zhanbota Aldabergenova of Kazakhstan and Qi Shao of China both scoring 80.04 points.
 
Fellow VIS scholarship holder, Abbey Willcox made a strong return to competition after missing last season due to injury, just missing the 12-woman final in 14th place, with Gabi Ash in 27th and Airleigh Frigo 32nd in her World Cup debut.

Read MORE | OWIA

Curling

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder Dean Hewitt and his Mixed Doubles partner Tahli Gill are looking to make Australian Curling History this week. The Mixed Doubles pair have one final chance to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics and become Australia's first ever Olympic curlers. 

They got their campaign off to a flying start with a 7-3 victory over Turkey, at the Curling Final Olympic Qualification Event in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. 

The pair will be back in action again tonight against Germany. 

"There's 14 countries battling it out for the top two spots at the Olympic qualification event. So, it's going to be a bit of a battle and all the teams are really strong, so it will be exciting," Gill said.

"To qualify for the Olympic Games would be incredible. The years of dedication and seeing that come to fruition and to have your goals being achieved, that would be huge and something really special." Hewitt said.

"It would be amazing for the sport in Australia too. Hopefully, if we qualify for the Olympics, it brings some more interest and we can build a curling rink in Australia, which would be massive for the sport."

Read MORE | Australian Olympic Committee

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Table Tennis

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holders, Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu have both been representing Australia at the ITTF 2021 World Youth Championships in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.

Nichols Lum continued on from his recent successes in Europe with a win in the Round of 32 against Slovakia's Filip Delincak. Lum went on to win the game 4-1 to secure a berth in the Round of 16 against India's Payas Jain tonight. 

Earlier, Lum was joined by Finn Luu and Chulong Nie in the Australia U19 Boys Team who faced back-to-back-to-back gold medallist China in the first round of the Team event. It was a tough Round of 16 for Australia, going down to China 3-0. 

Read MORE | Table Tennis Australia 

Basketball

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holders Jenna O'Hea and Rebecca Cole have won their opening game with the Southside Flyers on the weekend with a 94-81 win over Bendigo Spirit. Cole finished the game with an impressive 24 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. 

O'Hea and Cole were also confirmed in the 24 strong Australian Opals squad that was finalised today. With less than 300 days until the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, the squad will get ready for international duties starting in Serbia on 10 February with the goal of a podium finish on home soil in September 2022. 

Read MORE | Basketball Australia 

Wheelchair Tennis

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder Heath Davidson has claimed the Australian Wheelchair Quad Singles title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Fin Burns. 

Shooting

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder Penny Smith has closed out her 2021 shooting season on a high, securing four first place finishes at the Victorian State Trap Carnival over the weekend. Smith won the Ladies Champion of Champs, the Ladies Single Barrel, the Ladies High Gun and the Ladies Postal High Gun events. 

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