Australian Lassila wins women's aerials at Vancouver Winter Olympics

14:59, February 25, 2010      

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On the heavy foggy Cypress Mountain, Australian Lydia Lassila came out atop a 12-member field to claim the women's aerials title at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games on Wednesday evening.

Lassila, who finished 14th four years ago in the Turin Olympics, performed two astonishing jumps, with the degrees of difficulty at 4.175 and 3.800 respectively, for a winning total 214.74 points6 to lift the gold medal.

Ranked first in 2009 World Cup standings, Lassila successfully made her jumps rated the second highest of difficulty among the 12 finalists at the Games.

This was the second Olympic gold medal for Australia in the women's aerials after Alisa Camplin triumphed first in 2002.

Lassila, 28, who started skiing in June 1999 and took the jumping the following year on water ramps, said: "This is something that I've dreamed about at home since as far back as I can remember. I know the China's team is strong. When I jump my best, I know that will be good enough. Everything worked out."

Turin Olympic runner-up Li Nina of China executed two great jumps but had to settle for the silver with a total of 207.23. Chinese Guo Xinxin came to third in 205.22.

The 27-year-old Li was in tears. "I'm not crying because I didn't win gold. I'm crying because I landed four jumps and all these years of practise have paid off."

Xu Mengtao of China, who was the front runner after the first jump,executed well in the air but crashed on landing in her second jump with the highest degree of difficulty at 4.175, to place sixth in 191.61.

This is the second time that two women from the same team are on the podium in the event. In 2002, Canada took the silver and bronze medals through Veronica Brenner and Deidra Dionne.

The men's aerials final will kick off on Feb. 25 with the absence of top-ranked Anton Kushinir of Belarus who failed to qualify for the final round.

Source: Xinhua
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