(Reuters) – Chinese teenager Eileen Gu showed her fine form a couple of months out from the Beijing Olympics when she came away with the win from her first Big Air World Cup competition at Steamboat Springs in Colorado at the weekend.
Gu, born in San Francisco to an American father and a Chinese mother, became the first woman to land a right side double cork 1440 in any free-skiing competition as she scored 184.25 out of a possible 200 points.
The 18-year-old had already wrapped up victory heading into her final run, but chose to attempt the trick because she “really wanted to push it”.
“The boys were so inspiring out here throwing absolutely insane tricks, so I really wanted to represent the women as well and kind of step it up to the next level,” she said.
Gu’s victory was the latest in a string of impressive performances that have established her as one of the top contenders for Olympic gold on home soil in Beijing in February.
France’s Tess Ledeux, who won October’s big air in Chur, Switzerland, finished second with 177.50, and Norway’s Johanna Killi took bronze with 177.
In the men’s competition, Austrian Matej Svancer pulled off a left nosebutter triple cork 1980 safety to win his second consecutive big air World Cup event with a score of 188.50.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)