Chinese veteran Qi wins gold in freeski men's aerials at Beijing 2022

2022-02-17 08:24:27Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: 2022 Winter Olympics

Chinese free skier Qi Guangpu scored 129 points to grab the men's aerials gold in his fourth Olympic appearance at Beijing 2022 here on Wednesday.

It's the seventh gold for China in the ongoing Beijing Winter Olympics, a record so far in its Winter Games history. China's previous best was five golds at Vancouver 2010.

Qi's victory is also the third Olympic gold for the Chinese freeski aerials team in history. After Han Xiaopeng was crowned in the men's aerials at Turin 2006, China waited for 16 years to see its second aerials gold taken by Xu Mengtao, also 31, here on Monday night in the women's aerials.

In the breathtaking final on Wednesday night, the 31-year-old Qi, who had never earned a podium finish in his previous three Olympic appearances, jumped on the top through a brilliant trick of back double full-full-double full which boasts of a difficulty degree of 5.000, the highest in the world so far.

Oleksandr Abramenko of Ukraine won the silver on 116.50 while Llia Burov from the Russian Olympic Committee came third with 114.93.

Finishing seventh in both Vancouver 2010 and PyeongChang 2018 and fourth in Sochi 2014, Qi was seen as one of the favorites but had to face an extremely tight battle.

In the two-jump Final 1, eight athletes from the 12 finalists threw the same trick of back-full-double-full-full with difficulty degree of 4.425, which has become a normal degree for the men's aerials elites.

The scores of the top six athletes were between 126.24 and 122.13. Only Oleksandr Okipniuk from Ukraine got 91.40, lower than 100 due to a bad landing. Both Qi and his teammate Jia Zongyang, also a veteran, were among the top six.

The high success rate, in the landing in particular, made the Final 1 so tight that Jia dropped to seventh with a poor landing in his second jump and was out of the Final 2 which only features the top six after Final 1 to vie for the medals.

In his second jump, Burov threw the trick of back double full-full-double with a difficulty degree of 5.000, notching 129.50 to top the Final 1 standings.

In the medal-deciding Final 2, five of the six athletes threw the trick with difficulty degree of 5.000 and only Qi made a complete finish with the score above 120. 


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