Newcastle aerial skier Samantha Wells has taken a big shot of confidence out of leading qualifying at the latest World Cup round in Lake Placid, New York.
The 27-year-old could not repeat the performance in Sunday’s final, slipping to 12th, but is seventh in the series and delighted with her form in the build-up to next year’s Winter Olympics.
“A number of people have commented to me here about how much better I am jumping. It shows that the feedback I get from our coaches is exactly what the judges are rewarding me for,” Wells said.
“Because of a cold during the week I only managed four jumps on site, so despite the punch-front landing in the final it was a pretty good result. Coming first in the qualifying round definitely is confidence building.”
Wells, who was 18th at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, placed 14th and third in the first two World Cup rounds in December at Beida Lake in China. She finished eighth on the World Cup table last year.
Fellow Australian Danielle Scott leads this year’s rankings after a win and two seconds.
Mother-of-two Lydia Lassila, the 2010 Olympic champion, came sixth in her return to competition at 34 after deciding to have a shot at a fifth Olympics.