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(LEAD) Reigning Olympic champ wins World Cup aerial competition in PyeongChang

All Headlines 21:42 February 10, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 4-5, 8-9; photos)
By Joo Kyung-don

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- Anton Kushnir of Belarus, the reigning Olympic champion in men's aerial skiing, won the gold medal at an International Ski Federation (FIS) competition here on Friday.

Kushnir, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics winner, scored 199.47 points in the aerials finals at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, some 180km east of Seoul. He edged out Qi Guangpu of China by 0.92 points to claim his second World victory this year.

Mac Bohonnon of the United States was third at 116.74 points.

Kushnir was just eighth in the qualification round, but he pulled off a back full-double full-full jump, which has a degree of difficulty (DD) of 4.425, to edge out Qi, who completed a jump with 4.525 DD but struggled with the landing.

Kushnir earned 100 points for his victory and now has 308 points overall for this season, which is just 52 points behind leader Qi.

Anton Kushnir of Belarus performs in the men's aerial skiing finals at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 10, 2017. (Yonhap)

On the women's side, Chinese skiers swept the podium at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang.

Xu Mengtao, who won silver at the Sochi Games, finished first with a score of 96.63, followed by Shen Xiaoxue at 72.26 and Yang Yu at 70.72.

Xu, who passed the qualification stage in sixth place, performed a back double full full jump, which has a 3.525 DD, in the final and edged out compatriot Shen who made a poor landing.

The victory, her second of the season, lifted Xu to the top of the World Cup standings with 340 points, 18 ahead of Danielle Scott. Scott finished sixth here at 52.17.

No South Koreans reached the finals.

Kim Kyoung-eun finished 20th among 25 skiers in the women's aerial and failed to advance to the next round where the top 12 finishers perform. Kim Nam-jeen finished 24th, while Yoon Gi-chan ended up 31st among the 32 skiers in the men's competition and failed to make the cut.

The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup is one of the test events for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. The competition will have the moguls event on Saturday at the same venue.

Chinese aerial skiers Xu Mengtao (C), Shen Xiaoxue (L), and Yang Yu hold their national flag at the medal ceremony at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 10, 2017. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
(END)

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