Aussies upset by judges' scoring

10:28, February 23, 2010      

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The Australian freestyle skiing camp is fuming at what it perceives to be the judges' bias towards the Chinese aerialists, that country's media has reported.

All four Chinese skiers advanced to Wednesday's 12-woman finals, which also include three Australians, three Americans and two skiers from Belarus.

Despite getting three of their four athletes through to the finals, the Australians were less than impressed by the judging in the qualifying rounds.

Reigning World Cup champion Lydia Lassila, who qualified ninth with 167.55 points, was very pointed in her criticism of the officials.

"There are random scores and that's not good enough," Lassila said.

"We've dedicated our whole lives to this, it's not good enough at an Olympics or any World Cup."

The major sticking point was Lassila's first jump, which had a strange spread of scores from the judges - ranging from 4.7 to 5.9 out of seven for her air and form, a large margin not seen elsewhere.

"(Guo) Xinxin from China did a full-full-full (triple twisting triple somersault) and she crashed it and got 88 points so that doesn't make sense," she said.

"I stomped (completed) a double-full-full (triple twisting double somersault) and got 85, even though her degree of difficulty's higher she still crashed and that's something I don't understand.

"They've (the judges) got to get their act together and make sure they don't make mistakes and that they judge it fairly."

Teammate Jacqui Cooper, who scraped into the finals field in 11th position (162.99), was also less than impressed with the officiating.

Asked whether triple somersaults may have been scored on the high side during qualification, she said: "And any triples in the red suits," referring to the Chinese athletes.

Australia's Olympic Winter Institute head, Geoff Lipshut, was slightly more diplomatic than his charges.

"I think there were a few surprising calls and in light of what happened in the moguls I think this panel is having a bad week and a bad event," Lipshut said.

"This does happen but it shouldn't happen at an Olympics. This means one judge thinks it's almost a good jump and another thinks it's a terrible jump - it's all over the place."

Chinese officials were not available to respond to the Australians' comments yesterday but Li Nina said after qualification that she thought the judges were pretty strict.

Source:China Daily
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