Silver for Dehlinger in Aerials Freestyle World Ski Championships
Quinn Dehlinger is a double World Ski Championships medalist in his first World Championships starts, after earning silver in Thursday’s singles aerials event. “It feels unbelievable when put that way,” Dehlinger commented from the finish. “That’s crazy. But again, I put in the hard work this summer and the results show. Thanks to my coaches, thanks to my parents, and shout out to Cincinnati!”
Aerials World Ski Championships competition was delayed two days due to high winds. The women qualified in World Championship format Tuesday before the weather shut the rest of the day down. Unlike usual World Cup competition, each athlete had two opportunities to qualify for finals. Athletes must perform two different jumps, so strategy regarding degree of difficulty becomes an important factor. Two American women made the cut: Ashley Caldwell and Kaila Kuhn.
Through snow and fog, competition resumed Thursday but in World Cup format. The men only had one opportunity to qualify for finals. Chris Lillis absolutely stomped his double-full full full, flying tall and straight, and earned a score of 124.43 to qualify in first. Justin Schoenefeld qualified in fifth and Dehlinger in 11th.
“It started off really tricky honestly,” Dehlinger said of the day. “My training didn’t go as I would have liked. Then in the competition, I put one done in qualifying and snuck through. During Finals 1 it got really tricky there. It was really sticky, but I managed to put down another one. When it came to Finals 2, I put down a really nice one and grabbed myself a second place.”
Dehlinger earned a score of 114.48 for his double-full full full in the super final round, just a few points off from Switzerland’s Noe Roth who took the gold. China’s Longxiao Yang took bronze.
Lillis also represented the USA in the super finals round, performing a double-full full full for a score of 107.24, finishing just off the podium in fourth place. Schoenefeld came in eighth, his best singles World Championships finish. Derek Krueger was 23rd in his World Championships debut.
Kuhn was the lone American in the women’s super finals and performed a double-full full but didn’t have a clean landing. She earned a score of 76.84 to end the day in fifth, her best singles World Championships finish.
“The conditions were really challenging today,” reflected Kuhn. “That was only the second time I performed that jump on this site so I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It sucks because if I had landed that jump it would have put me on that podium. But it’s a learning experience for next time and I’m really happy to walk away healthy from this week.”
China's Fanyu Kong took gold for the women, Australia's Danielle Scott earned silver and Ukraine's Anastasiya Novosad rounded out the podium with bronze. Caldwell finished 10th. Winter Vinecki finished 16th and Megan Nick finished 19th.
This marks the end of Aerials World Ski Championships competition. Athletes compete next in Engadin, Switzerland, for their last World Cup before World Cup Finals.