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Expectations Flying High for Chinese Ski Team

Photo:CFP/Getty Images/Streeter Lecka

Small but mighty, Team China is expected to sweep both the men's and women's aerials podiums this week. 

On Monday evening, 18 year old Jia Zongyang (pictured above) placed first in the men's aerials qualifying round, with teammates Qi Guangpu finishing 10th and Liu Zhongqing in 11th place. All three men will compete for the podium on Friday. Meanwhile, the Chinese women's aerials team also proved to be serious threats, with Li Nina, Guo Xinxin and Cheng Shuang ranking second, third and fourth in qualification respectively.

China's aerialists, led by Canadian coach Dustin Wilson, only recently became a powerhouse team. At the 2006 Turin Olympics, Han Xiaopeng won gold in a surprise upset in the men's competition, while women's aerialist Li Nina took silver.

According to Guo Xinxin, China's women's aerials team is stacked not just with skill, but beauty. "I think the four of us should win medals because we're pretty," Guo was quoted as saying by the Olympic News Service.

China is currently ranked 12th in the Olympic medal count, with three golds, and one bronze and silver each. The women's aerials final airs in China at 11:30am on Thursday, and the men's finals at 10am on Friday.


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