China leads aerials opener on home snow

20 December 2009 13:29

In the aerials FIS Freestyle World Cup opener in Changchun (CHN) the home team dominated. The Chinese swept the ladies' podium as Xinxin Guo produced a superlative winning score of 206.09. Nina Li, ranked second in the world last year, scored 198.26 for second and Mengtao Xu took third in 182.56. Belarus's Anton Kushnir won Saturday's men's final with a two-jump score of 247.15. He ranked just 17th last year, but largely because he missed a number of events due to injury. 

Sixteenth-ranked Liu Zhongping of China scored 240.83 for the second place, while 42nd-ranked Chao Wu of China took third in 240.14. The World Cup circuit's top-ranked aerialist last season, Steve Omischl of Canada qualified fifth for Saturday's final, but scored no better on his second jump, to remain fifth.

"I'm not disappointed and I'm not pleased," said Omischl, who's headed to his third Olympics gunning for a medal. "I just wanted to get my feet wet, and get back to competing and into the mode. None of the world's 2009 top five ranked male jumpers reached the podium."

World Cup action resumes with another aerials event Sunday.