• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > China

Gu Wins Big Air Gold, Sweden Tops Medals at Beijing 2022

  • Gold medalist Gu Ailing during the awards ceremony of the women's freeski Big Air on Feb. 8, 2022.

    Gold medalist Gu Ailing during the awards ceremony of the women's freeski Big Air on Feb. 8, 2022. | Photo: Xinhua/Ju Huanzong

Published 8 February 2022

Freeski sensation Gu Ailing becomes China's first female Olympic gold medalist on snow. What follows is the roundup.

China's prodigy Gu Ailing won a historic gold medal with a previously unseen trick in the women's freeski big air competition at Beijing 2022 here on Tuesday.

It was China's third gold medal at the Games, with the first two both coming in short-track speed skating.

Sweden bagged its fourth gold medal at the Games in the cross-country skiing women's sprint free, as Jonna Sundling led home Maja Dahlqvist for a one-two finish. Sweden stands top of the medal tally with four golds, one silver and one bronze after Beijing 2022's fourth competition day.

In the Olympic debut of freeski big air, Gu stomped a double cork 1620 safety grab, a move she had never done in previous competitions or training, on her final run for a tied event-high score of 94.50 points. Having posted 93.75 from her first run, Gu achieved a combined score of 188.25 points and vaulted from third place before the final run to take gold.

Gu shows her emotion after the women's freeski Big Air final at Big Air Shougang. (Xinhua/Ding Xu)

"That was the best moment of my life," said an excited Gu after the race. "The happiest moment, day, whatever, of my life. I just cannot believe what just happened."

Gu, 18, became China's first female gold medalist on snow.

Discussing her gold medal-winning jump, Gu explained, "I was guaranteed a podium spot when I dropped in, so I was thinking I was only 0.25 points behind Mathilde [Gremaud], and I was thinking, 'Should I improve on my previous one and go for the silver or should I whip out this random trick I'd never done before and go for gold?'"

"It was a breathtaking competition to see this level of performance. Ailing stood for the first time with this [trick]. I can't imagine what must have gone in her head before doing it," said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, who witnessed the historic moment on site.

Tess Ledeux of France took the silver, 0.75 points behind Gu, while the bronze medal went to Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland, who tallied 182.50 points.

"She [Ailing] has killed it today," admitted Ledeux.

Gu is also expected to compete in slopestyle and halfpipe at Beijing 2022.

In the cross-country skiing women's sprint free, Sundling, the reigning world classic sprint champion, crossed the line first in three minutes and 09.68 seconds, 2.88 seconds ahead of teammate Dahlqvist. Jessie Diggins of the United States took bronze in 3:12.84.

Jonna Sundling of Sweden celebrates after winning gold in the women's cross-country skiing sprint free final at Zhangjiakou National Cross-country Skiing Center. (Xinhua/Zhang Hongxiang)

Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo came out the winner in the men's sprint free with 2 minutes and 58.06 seconds.

Matthias Mayer defended his Olympic Super-G title to become the first male Alpine skier to win gold in three consecutive Games.

Following his downhill gold at Sochi 2014 and his PyeongChang 2018 Super-G title, the 31-year-old Austrian clocked a winning time of one minute and 19.94 seconds.

The United States's Ryan Cochran-Siegle took a surprise silver, finishing 0.04 seconds behind Mayer to win his first Olympic medal in his second Games. Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde claimed bronze in 1:20.36.

The other gold that Austria won on the day came from the men's snowboard parallel giant slaloms, where Benjamin Karl edged Slovenia's Tim Mastnak by 0.82 seconds in the big final.

Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic, the first athlete to win gold in two different disciplines at the same Winter Games four years ago, defended her snowboard parallel giant slalom title. She will seek another title defense in Alpine skiing Super-G on Friday.

Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic on her way to victory during the snowboard women's parallel giant slalom at Genting Snow Park. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

World record holder Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands broke the Olympic record to retain his men's 1,500 meters speed skating title.

Nuis clocked one minute and 43.21 seconds for his third Olympic gold medal, shattering the previous mark of 1:43.95 set by American skater Derek Parra in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Nuis' teammate Thomas Krol took home the silver medal with 1:43.55, while the bronze went to Kim Min-seok of South Korea in 1:44.24.

In biathlon, France's Quentin Fillon Maillet managed to ski fast enough to win the men's 20km individual gold medal in 48 minutes and 47.4 seconds.

Anton Smolski from Belarus claimed silver with clean shooting, 14.8 seconds adrift of Maillet.

The Italian duo of Amos Mosaner and Stefania Consitantini registered an intact winning record en route to their curling mixed doubles gold medal, after defeating PyeongChang 2018 bronze medalist Norway 8-5 in the final. Sweden eased past Britain 9-3 to take the bronze.

Stefania Constantini (L) and Amos Mosaner of Italy celebrate winning gold in the curling mixed doubles against Norway at the National Aquatics Center. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

Natalie Geisenberger of Germany stormed to the women's singles luge gold with a combined time of three minutes and 53.454 seconds in four runs, followed by her teammate Anna Berreiter and Tatyana Ivanova of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Two-time figure skating defending champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan bungled a quadruple Salchow from the very beginning and collected a mediocre 95.15 points to place only eighth after the men's singles short program, where his compatriots Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno both set their season's best to sit second and third respectively. China's sole skater Jin Boyang finished 11th with 90.98 points and qualified to the free skating.

With three golds and two silvers, China sits third in the medal tally after Sweden and the Netherlands, who has three golds, three silvers and one bronze.

Six gold medals will be contested in Alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, luge, Nordic combined, short-track speed skating and snowboard on Wednesday.  

Post with no comments.