Ramanouskaya and Bohonnon score first career wins in Lake Placid aerials
LAKE PLACID, USA – It was the biggest night of their lives for several young athletes on the Freestyle World Cup tour, as Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya (BLR) lead a slate of ladies who claimed their first career World Cup podiums, and Mac Bohonnon (USA) took his first career win in aerials competition under the lights in tough weather conditions in Lake Placid on Friday night.
A varying wind made things difficult for all competitors, and gusts from the rear helped send several top athletes out of the competition ahead of schedule. In the ladies' event, that meant that World Cup leader at the start of the night, Xu Mengtao (CHN), couldn't put down a clean jump and was unable to make it out of the qualifying round.
For the ladies' who did make it through to the superfinal strategy became the name of the game, as all but one of the final six elected to go with a relatively simple lay, full jump, that would be less affected by the winds. 18-year-old Ramanouskaya, with a near-flawless execution, was able to put down the best example of the most popular jump of the evening, for the win, edging Veronika Korsunova (RUS) and Melissa Corbo (CAN).
For all three of the ladies the podium spot was the first of their World Cup careers, and in the case of Corbo it came in just her third World Cup competition.
On the men's side of things, it was Bohonnon continuing his breakout season by stepping up to the next level and taking his first career win by going toe-to-toe with the exceptional Chinese team.
As the top qualifier out of final one, Bohonnon had the last jump of the evening in front of the enthusiastic Lake Placid crowd. With three Chinese athletes occupying the three podium positions at the point, Bohonnon was able to drop in and stomp the same double full, full, full jump that all three of his Chinese rivals had done, but cleaner and better for the win.
Bohonnon's final jump pushed Zhou Hhang to second and World Cup aerials leader Qi Guangpu to third. The podium results were the third straight for both Bohonnon and Qi, with Bohonnon closing the gap to less than 100 points between the two.
Despite only registering an eighth place result, Kiley McKinnon (USA) gave the home squad something else to celebrate on Friday, as she was able to take over the yellow leader's bib from 16th place-finishing Xu.
With so many interesting results on Friday night, things are stacking up nicely for what should be a highly-entertaining team event on Saturday night. The Lake Placid competition will be only the second-ever aerials team event after a successful debut of the format in the season-opening competition in Beijing.