Steve Omischl led a Canadian 1-2 finish in men's aerials and Nina Li won the women's event for China's first ever gold medal at the World Freestyle Ski Championships on Friday.
Earlier, Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic and Karin Huttary of Austria won their finals by razor-thin margins to become the first gold medalists in the new ski cross event.
Omischl won the men's aerials with 258.98 points while runner-up Jeff Bean had 253.61, after competing on a snow ramp under the lights just south of the Arctic Circle in northern Finland. The Canadians also finished 1-2 in qualifying.
It was Canada's first men's aerials gold since 1997, and the sixth in the spectacular event since the inaugural worlds in 1986.
Alexei Grishin of Belarus, who was second ahead of Omischl in the 2003 worlds in the US, took the bronze medal with 246.19 points.
"This is the pinnacle of my career thus far," said Omischl, who won last season's World Cup aerials title but had to settle for second this year. "I had a great season last year, but those were all World Cups. This is the first time I've won a major event and going into next year with the Olympics I can't be happier, and feel more ready for that event."
Bean felt some pressure before the competition.
"To even have a chance to go to the podium I had to do two perfect jumps and I was able to do that," he said. "I couldn't have finished off the season better after having an up and down season."
Nina topped the women's final with 197.37 points. Evelyne Leu of Switzerland, winner of one World Cup this season, was right behind with 196.01 points to claim the silver. The bronze went to Xinxin Guo of China with 183.94 points.
"I felt good all season and wanted to win this badly," said Nina, who dominated the World Cup circuit this season with six wins in 12 events. "A new [Canadian] coach helped me with the small things ... new things that improved my confidence even more."
World Cup champion Jeret Peterson of the US placed 12th and last after falling on his second jump.
Olympic silver medalist Joe Pack of the US wound up 14th, and missed the final for the second straight championship.
Defending champion Dmitri Arkhipov of Russia and Xiaopeng Han of China, who was third in the World Cup standings, also missed the finals, finishing 16th and 20th in qualifying.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path