USA's Chris Lillis, Justin Schoenefeld Finish Top-Six in Men's Aerials, China Wins Gold

Schoenefeld took fifth and Lillis was sixth in the men's aerials final

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Team USA’s Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld, both first time Olympians, advanced to the men’s aerials medal event after placing in the top six.

Lillis’ final run scored a 103.00 after an unfortunate fall, placing him in sixth, while Schoenefeld’s final run scored a 106.50, placing him fifth.

China’s Qi Guangpu clinched gold with a 129.00, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Abramenko, the 2018 defending gold medalist, clinched silver with a 116.50 and Ilya Burov, the 2018 defending bronze medalist, clinched another bronze with a 114.93.

China now has earned two medals for aerials, men’s and women’s, in the 2022 Beijing Games.

Going into the finals, the ROC’s Ilya Burov secured first place with a score of 129.50, Switzerland’s Pirmin Werner secured second with a score of 126.24 and Lillis secured third with a score of 125.67. 

The other three advancers were China’s Qi Guangpu (125.22), Ukraine’s Oleksandr Abramenko (123.53) and Schoenefeld (123.53).

Team USA’s Eric Loughran’s best jump of the first final was 111.95, but he fell on the second jump and failed to qualify for the medal event. 

Out of the 25 athletes competing in the qualification round, 12 athletes advanced to the finals. The finals consisted of two rounds, the first final and the super final. Each skier gets two jumps on the first final and the best jump depicts their entry into the medal round, which includes only the top six.

Earlier in the Games, Lillis and Schoenefeld and Ashley Caldwell clinched the gold for the U.S. in the very first mixed team aerials event.

Watch the next event in freestyle skiing, the women’s freeski halfpipe qualifying rounds, which will begin on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. EST.

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