Winter Olympics: Qi completes Chinese aerials double gold

China's Qi Guangpu celebrates after winning the men's freestyle skiing aerials final on Feb 16, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ZHANGJIAKOU (REUTERS) - Qi Guangpu completed a Chinese freestyle skiing aerials double when he impressively won the men's individual gold on Wednesday (Feb 16), two days after Xu Mengtao won the women's event.

Qi, the former double world champion, delivered a spectacular quintuple twister and nailed the landing for 129 points to finish well clear.

Ukraine's defending champion Oleksandr Abramenko (116.50) took silver and Ilia Burov of the Russian Olympic Committee (114.93) claimed bronze for the second Games in a row.

The 31-year-old Qi who finished fourth, seventh and seventh in the last three Olympics and just missed out on team gold last week, was in a class of his own in the final as, after a high-quality qualifying round, most of his rivals faltered.

Burov collected the best score of "Final 1" with 129.50 points, as six men advanced to the "clean slate" one jump decisive round.

American Justin Schoenefeld was the lowest scorer of the six into the final and had a total wipeout when he went off first.

Abramenko was marginally better but would never have thought his score would earn him a silver medal.

Qi was next up and landed the spectacular quintuple twister.

Christopher Lillis, who was faultless when helping the United States win the team final, over-rotated next, shouting "oh no" after his head crashed backwards into the snow to end his hopes.

Switzerland's Pirmin Werner was clean on landing but a little ragged in the air, and eventually finished fourth.

That left Burov, the World Cup leader, and though his jump was good, it was a touch too safe and the gold was Qi's.

Earlier, his compatriot Jia Zongyang, desperate for gold after silver four years ago in Pyeongchang and bronze at Sochi 2014, was one of the few to mess up his landing and just failed to make the cut for the final six.

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