China dominates team competitions in Secret Garden
Secret Garden (CHN) - The second day of competition on the aerials World Cup was staged in Secret Garden on Sunday, concluding an action-packed weekend at the future venue of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Team China took care of things at home and dominated the team competition, while Danielle Scott (AUS) and Jia Zongyang (CHN) came on top in the one-round format individual event.
With Sunday’s team event acting as the lone aerials team competition of the season, where the individual, qualification phase of the competition decided the results for World Cup points, once again the world’s top athletes showed up ready to strut their stuff and get the crowd warmed up in what was another sunny, but freezing cold day in the Chongli county.
The qualifications seeding round kicked off early in the morning, beginning a long but exciting day of the double-header competition was on and everyone’s attention turned to see how the athletes would strive not just to improve their team’s standing, but also to battle for their place on the World Cup leaderboard.
Danielle Scott coming hot with a redemption
After a somewhat disappointing performance on Saturday, Danielle Scott, one of the biggest favourites for the overall World Cup title this season, turned things around on Sunday and stomped her back double Full - Full perfectly for a score of 100.11 to take the win with a substantial advantage over the runner-up on the day Xu Mengtao (87.40 points).
"I had a really rough day yesterday," said Scott following the awards ceremony. "To come out and battle the tricky conditions again and do what I really wanted to do and take the win feels really awesome."
Repeating her Saturday’s performance, Xu gained another 80 World Cup points and thus grabbed the lead in the overall aerials standing, edging out yesterday’s winner Hanna Huskova (ranked 7th) by a margin of 24 points, 160 to 136. Third place on the day went to the Russian athlete Kristina Spiridonova, who also grabbed her career’s second World Cup podium after taking third in last year’s competition in Lake Placid (USA).
Jia Zongyang does it again
Coming off an impressive start to the season in Saturday’s competition, where he took the win after more than four years off the World Cup podium, Jia Zongyang repeated his superb performance on Sunday with a textbook back Full - double Full - Full for the win and with another 100 World Cup points, he comfortably sits on top of the ranking with a substantial advantage over his teammate Qi Guangpu, 200 to 130.
Qi, last year’s aerials World Cup crystal globe winner, came in second today losing by a slightest of margin by 0.28 points, while Belarusian aerials legend Anton Kushnir rounded out the men’s podium on third.
China seals the deal at home
Straight after an exciting qualification round, 6 teams each consisting of three athletes jousted together in the season’s only aerials team event. Following the first round of jumps, it was soon only down to three teams with China, Australia and Russia still in the position to take the final victory.
With Xu, Qi and Jia on their squad there was however not much the other teams could do to spoil the Chinese party in the event at venue where they might be looking for some Olympic gold in just over four years time.
And while Jia’s final jump was far from what he has showcased in the last two days, surprisingly crashing hard on his trademark back Full - double Full - Full, the advantage gained by both Xu and Qi was big enough to earn the Chinese team a highly anticipated victory in front of the home crowd.
Second place went to Australia with Danielle Scott, Samantha Wells and David Morris looking strong, while team Russia, represented by Ilia and Maxim Burov along with Liubov Nikitina completed the podium on third. "We've somehow managed to get on the podium, despite having two ladies and only one guy on a team with all other teams having bigger chances for a higher score", said Morris after the competition. "So we had to smash it through every single run to make it to the big finals, and we came second so that's really an excellent result."
The aerials World Cup take the Christmas break just to come back after the New Years eve with the third stop of 2017/2018 aerials World Cup season taking to the slopes of big ramp scaffolding in Moscow on January 6, 2018.