Local favorite Gu Ailing qualified for the Beijing 2022 women's freeski Big Air final, finishing with 161.25 points after three runs at the Big Air Shougang here on Monday.
Gu performed a left-side double cork 1080 with a safety-to-japan grab to rank third with 89.00 points after her first run, behind Tess Ledeux of France (90.50 points) and Kirsty Muir of Britain (89.25 points).
After her second run, Gu dropped to 16th place with a combined score of 113.50 after she dropped a right-side cork 900 but slipped on the landing as one of her skis fell off. Canadian Megan Oldham, who finished fourth in her World Championship debut at Aspen in 2021, delivered a stunning run to score a race-high 91.25 points.
In the third and final run, Gu stomped the same tricks as her second run to receive 72.25 points to qualify for the finals with a combination of best two runs out of three - 161.25 points.
Oldham, Ledeux, Russian Anastasia Tatalina and Sandra Eie of Norway occupied the top four spots, while Gu's compatriot Yang Shuorui failed to qualify for the final.
"The wind switched in between the first and second run that you can see a lot of people were going slow," said Gu. "I didn't really notice until it was too late."
The 18-year-old admitted there was "a lot of pressure" going into the third run. "I'm happy to be able to perform under pressure and I think it speaks a lot to the volume of mental training that I've been putting on."
"I'm excited for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the big show and I hope I can put on a good show for everyone," she added.
The women's freeski big air final will take place on Tuesday.
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