Home>News Center>Sports

Han makes history with aerials gold
Updated: 2006-02-24 08:27

SAUZE D'OULX, Italy (AFP) - Han Xiaopeng made history by becoming the first Chinese skier to win Olympic gold with his sensational victory in the men's freestyle aerials final on Thursday.

Han makes history with aerials gold
Han Xiaopeng celebrates his victory. [Xinhua]
Han, who was competing in his first ever final, shocked everyone by taking gold ahead of Belarus' Dmitri Dashinski and Russia's Vladimir Lebedev.

Han was second after the first jumps but his second leap - a back-lay-double-full-full - secured 250.77 points to edge final jumper Dashinski.

The 22-year-old became the youngest gold medallist in mens aerials beating Switzerland's Andreas Schoenbaechler who was 27 years and 295 days when he took gold in 1994.

With reigning champion Ales Valenta of the Czech Republic and world champion Steve Omischl just of two big names to crash out in the qualifying the competition was there for the taking and Han took full advantage.

After the first round of jumps Dashinski, bronze medallist in Nagano 1998, led the way with 131.42 points with Han in second and American Jeret Peterson in third.

But the women's aerials on Wednesday, when Chinese jumpers occupied the top three slots only to finish with one silver, had shown that everything can change around in an instant on the second jump.

Lebedev, who failed to qualify for the final at the 2002 Games, was the surprise early leader but Han then nudged him from top spot and waited for Dashinski.

The Belarus jumper, whose silver represents his country's first medal at the Olympics, waited anxiously but held his hands on his head at placing second.

Peterson was another to be disappointed with the American loving his final jump, pumping his first in joy, but the judges didn't and placed him seventh.

Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells
Commonwealth Games Swimming
Selected Reuters Sports Pictures on March 13
  Today's Top News     Top Sports News

Australia, US, Japan praise China for Asia engagement



Banker: China doing its best on flexible yuan



Hopes high for oil pipeline deal



Possibilities of bird flu outbreaks reduced



Milosevic buried after emotional farewell



China considers trade contracts in India


  Manchester United gains on Chelsea
  UEFA Cup loses top-name clubs
  Cuba celebrates win over Puerto Rico, advances in Classic
  Els moves into Bay Hill contention with 67
  World Cup to boost Japanese economy by $4 billion
  Alonso confident; Fisichella apologizes
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.