Freestyle: Defending aerials champion Grishin fails to reach final

Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:19am EST
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ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Defending Olympic champion Alexei Grishin failed to reach the final of the men's freestyle skiing aerials on Monday after crash landing on both of his jumps in qualifying.

China's Liu Zhongqing, the bronze medalist in Vancouver, was also unable to put together a clean jump and bowed out but his compatriots did take half of the six spots up for grabs in the first qualifying session.

Jia Zongyang top scored to lead world champion Qi Guangpu and Wu Chao into the final 12, while Australian David Morris claimed second place.

Despite Grishin's failure, Dmitri Dashinksi, Anton Kushnir and Denis Osipau all came through second qualifying to keep alive Belarusian hopes of a sweep of the aerials golds at Sochi after Alla Tsuper claimed the women's title.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; editing by Peter Rutherford)

Belarus' Alexei Grishin performs a jump during the men's freestyle skiing aerials qualification round at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 17, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez