2022 Winter Olympics – Mathilde Gremaud wins gold in women’s freeski slopestyle while Eileen Gu takes silver

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Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud won the women’s freeski slopestyle at the Winter Olympics as Eileen Gu added silver to her big air gold.

Gremaud took silver in slopestyle at Pyeongchang 2018 but did better in Beijing with a score of 86.56 that was enough to beat 18-year-old Gu by just 0.33 points.

It was a remarkable win considering Gremaud qualified only 12th, with only the top 12 reaching the final, while it was the Swiss’s second Games medal after winning bronze in the big air.

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Estonian Kelly Sildaru finished third to claim bronze, while Britain’s Kirsty Muir finished eighth ahead of teammate Katie Summerhayes, who placed ninth.

The finalists went out in reverse order based on their qualifying scores, meaning Summerhayes were third down, and with only the top score counting the Briton knew she had a chance to set the early benchmark given that Gremaud and Olivia Asselin stumbled early. doors.

A clean run got Summerhayes off to an ideal start. “She sets the standard for the Olympic final, the best we’ve seen of the first three for sure,” James Webb said on Eurosport commentary, the 26-year-old posting 60.01.

France’s Tess Ledeux then took the lead with a 72.91 before Muir – sixth in qualifying – attempted to top her teammate, although she failed to land a difficult double cork 1260 and ended up score 41.86.

The spotlight was then on big air champion Gu, and she placed second with a 69.90 – around 10 points shy of her best qualifying score.

Gu Ailing Eileen of China celebrates after competing in the Freestyle Skiing Women’s Slopestyle Final at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Image credit: Getty Images

It was then the turn of the top two qualifiers, with just 0.15 points separating Norway’s Johanne Killi (86.00) and Sildaru (86.15) on Monday.

Killi fell on her first run and scored 24.86, but four-time X Games slopestyle champion Sildaru went deep, scoring 82.06 to lead a third of the way.

It didn’t last long though, with Gremaud sweeping away the disappointment of a 1.10 first run to take the lead with a mega 86.56, giving herself every chance to do better than the money she had. won four years ago.

Summerhayes improved with a 64.75 to finish fifth, and Muir then “showed the world what she’s capable of” – according to Webb – this time landing the double cork 1260 and scoring 71.30.

That put Muir in fourth place, just 1.61 points off third, but that quickly moved into fifth after ROC’s Anastasia Tatalina moved to bronze with a 74.16.

Once again, it was short-lived for Tatalina as American Maggie Voisin finished third, an indication of how quickly the standings can change.

That was all before the bottom three collapsed for their second innings. Gu was seventh and fell off a rail, meaning she couldn’t improve her position, knowing she only had one last shot in her third run.

Going into the final round, Gremaud was first, Sildaru second, Voisin third – while Gu was eighth, between Muir and Summerhayes.

Gremaud fell meaning she would rely on her second run in hopes of retaining the gold, while Summerhayes couldn’t land a 1080 meaning she wouldn’t improve for her in ninth.

Just three weeks after winning slopestyle gold at the X Games, Ledeux then put on a devastated figure as she raced down the slope, knowing she wouldn’t win a medal after losing control in the air.

That’s when Muir went all out for a podium finish, but what the FIS calls a “butt-check” – where your back brushes the snow on landing – meant she scored 69.21, two points less than his best run. .

Tatalina then replaced Voisin in third, the former scoring 75.51 and the latter unable to improve on her second set score.

Again, it was in the bottom three. Gu was still eighth when she last crashed, and after landing a double cork 1080 there were roars from the home crowd as she completed a faultless run.

“I don’t envy the judges today, Gu probably landed a harder jump,” Richard Cobbing told Eurosport, “although I thought we could have seen more of her.”

The race was given 86.23, just 0.33 points behind Gremaud, putting her in silver medal position and pushing Sildaru to bronze.

Killi knew repeating her best qualifying score would be good enough for third, and even though she got an “Oh my god, that was so sick!” from Gu in the finish area, errors further down the course saw her post 71.78.

Sildaru knew she had secured third place, but sought to change the color of her medal as the last athlete eliminated. In the end, she settled for bronze as a 78.75 confirmed Gremaud’s status as an Olympic champion.

Watch every moment of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Discovery+

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