Chinese aerials domination in Lake Placid
The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in aerials continued with two night events in Lake Placid (USA) this weekend.
The Lake Placid World Cup events represented the first appearance of the Chinese aerials team, which was not present in the World Cup opener in Mont Gabriel (CAN) but returned to the World Cup scene with a vengeance by claiming eight of the available 12 podium places.
In the ladies’ competitions, China’s ladies swept the podium two nights in a row. 21-year-old Mengtao XU, two-time silver medallist at the FIS World Ski Championships and sixth place finisher at the 2010 Olympic Games, won both of the ladies’ events. Shuang CHENG took 2nd in both competitions ahead of 18-year-old Fanyu Kong who took 3rd on both days. Ukraine’s Olga Volkova, winner of the season opener in Mt Gabriel, finished 4th twice.
In the men’s competition Zongyang Jia of China topped the men’s first competition ahead of teammate Zhongqing Liu whilst Anton Kushnir of Belorus took 3rd. In the second men’s event, the Swiss Thomas Lambert and Renato Ulrich took a double victory ahead of Petr Medulich of Russia in 3rd. All competitions were staged using the new super-final format.
After three competitions, the men’s World Cup is led by Canada’s Olivier Rochon with 7th, 4th and 2nd place finishes and 166 points ahead of Lambert with 145 and Medulich with 132 points. In the ladies’ rankings both Xu and Volkova have 200 points.
The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup continues 28-29 January in Calgary, AB, Canada with both aerials and moguls competitions before returning to Deer Valley, UT, USA from 2-4 February for the Visa Freestyle International.