LAKE PLACID - After two days of aerials competiton, the Chinese women might have just made a statement when it comes to being the best of world.
On Friday, they went one-two-three in the World Cup event at the Olympic Ski Jump Complex in Lake Placid and followed on Saturday with another sweep of the podium. Mengtao led the way, claiming her second gold medal in as many days.
After the women from China displayed their aerials prowess, Swiss skiers went one-two in the men's contest with Thomas Lambert taking the gold and Renato Ulrich finishing runner-up.
Switzerland’s Renato Ulrich, foreground, wears a smile of satisfaction seconds after greeting teammate Thomas Lambert, who celebrates in the background in front of the crowd after they captured the top two spots on the men’s podium during the aerials competition Saturday at the World Cup freestyle event at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex in Lake Placid.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
After skipping the World Cup aerials season opener at Mount Gabriel, Quebec, Chinese athletes captured eight of the 12 medals that were up for grabs in two days of aerials competition in Lake Placid.
Xu claimed her second victory in a row with a jump of 96.58 points in the third and final round, Shaung Cheng won the women's silver with a jump that earned 94.47 points, and teammate Fanyu Kong took the bronze with an 82.94-point effort. Olga Volkova of Ukraine finished in fourth place for the second time in as many days.
Emily Cook was the top United States women's finisher, placing eighth for the second day in a row, and American Lee Allison was 12th.
Lambert won with a 119.40-point jump in the final round of the men's contest and Ulrich followed with a runner-up jump of 116.48 points with a jump totalling 104.49 points. Petr Medulich of Russia finished in third place.
Dylan Ferguson was the top finisher for the U.S. men, placing eighth. He earned a World Cup career-best fifth-place showing in Friday's competition in Lake Placid.
With her two victories, Xu took the World Cup points lead in women's aerials. Canadian Oliver Rochon finished eighth Saturday to hold onto first place in the men's points standings.
The World Cup aerials are being held under a new format this season that includes three rounds of jumping. The opening round is a qualifier where the top 12 advance for a second jump in the final. The top four from that second round then move on to the Super Final to fill out the podium. In the past, the scores of each round have been combined to determine placing, but now, the slates are wiped clean heading into each round.
The Freestyle World Cup tour next heads to Calgary, Canada.