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Cheng and Li take top two spots in Fernie World Cup aerials


Cheng and Li take top two spots in Fernie World Cup aerials{mosimage}The Chinese made a run at World Cup aerial leader Lydia Ierodiaconou by taking the top two places at Fernie, BC, with teenager Shuang Cheng posting a career best 190.84 score and Nina Li tight behind for second place at 185.66. Canadian Veronika Bauer got her first podium of the season in third.

Bauer said the temperature gave her a boost, even though the unseasonably warm conditions and two days of steady rain had left dirt on the landing hill in practice. “But, when we showed up it was perfect,” said Bauer.

On the men’s side Jeret Peterson made it back-to-back wins, following up his win at Lake Placid with another on the warm flanks of Fernie’s Silver Fox jump area. His top two best scores ever came in these two performances. He was followed on the podium by a Ukrainian and a Belarusian, Stanislav Kravchuk and Alexei Grichen respectively. World Cup runner-up Warren Shouldice posted seventh while Ryan St Onge took fifth to give the American squad two of the top five.

Despite his sky-high scores, coach Matt Christiansen said Peterson has been jumping better in practice than he has in competition. “His training training level is so high,” said the coach. “He’s really taken charge of his career. … He’s not counting on anybody else. He’s training smarter, training more and getting in all the jumps he can take. I like where his head is at.”

Kari Traa, a four time World Cup champion in the midst of a very disappointing season delivered a shot to dual mogul standings leader Jennifer Heil, taking her down in the finals. Americans Jillian Vogtli and Laurel Shanley battled it out for the last podium slot with Vogtli getting the final nod.

Traa showed the form which has brought her so many trophies and from the outset few doubted she win. Heil gave her a good run. She had to just to keep from getting embarrassed. “I brought my mogul skiing to a new level today,” Heil said. “I don’t think I had ever skied as fast as I did in the final. To be in the final against Kari is a privilege and I knew I was in for a tough battle. I’m excited about how it went.”

Nathan Roberts became the third American male to win a World Cup bump contest this season downing teammate Travis Mayer in the finals with a Herculean come from behind win.. Rusian Sharifulin took third in the run-off against Mikko Ronkainen. “Roberts had some probklems in the start,” said coach Don StPierre, “and T-Mayer was three gates ahead when he hit the first jump. But then, I don’t know where he found it, Nate caught him on the bottom jump… and won it.”

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