Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / Winter Sports

China's Olympic champion Xu misses National Games freestyle aerials medal

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-23 09:37
Share - WeChat
China's veteran women's freestyle aerials skier Kong Fanyu, representing Heilongjiang province, competes during the 14th National Winter Games in Hulun Buir, North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Feb 21, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

HOHHOT - China's veteran women's freestyle aerials skier Xu Mengtao, the Beijing 2022 Olympic champion, finished only fifth at the 14th National Winter Games on Wednesday due to a faulted landing.

30-year-old Kong Fanyu, bronze medalist at PyeongChang 2018, won the event for Heilongjiang Province with 94.82 points. This is Kong's first National Games title in three attempts.

Shao Qi secured the silver for the host team of Inner Mongolia with 88.51 points, and the bronze went to 20-year-old Liu Xuanchi, who competed as a debutant for Hebei Province.

As China's most decorated skier, Xu, 33, still holds the women's world record of 116.9 points, boasting 57 World Cup medals, of which 34 are golds. Her career also includes a gold medal at Beijing 2022 and a silver at Sochi 2014.

Xu and Kong shared the lead in the preliminary runs, with both scoring 94.82 points, but Xu landed on her back on her final run, costing her the chance to add a medal to her profile with just 78.96 points.

"I was upset after [finishing sixth at] Beijing 2022, but I still hoped I could be excellent in the sport that I have been training in for years," said Kong. "Finally, I got my first gold medal in my third National Games."

Now, Kong is setting her sights on the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and said her experience as veteran is helping her to improve. "The next challenge will definitely be the 2026 Winter Olympics. I need to prepare well through consistent training in the next two years," said Kong.

"My mindset grows stronger over the years. I didn't think much about my rivals today, including Xu Mengtao, and I just focused on my own run and did what I'm capable of. Xu is a great athlete obviously, but I don't think that's a burden. We help each other in training and also in competition."

For Liu Xuanchi, a bronze medal came as a surprise. "I'm pleased to reach the podium in my first National Games. I think the final run today can be counted as a good finish," said former gymnast Liu, who took up skiing just six years ago.

"It's something unexpected prior to the competition. I narrowly entered the final in the last place, so it's really great to snatch a medal," Liu added.

Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349