Three Canucks qualify in aerials

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency


Steve Omischl of Canada reacts following qualifying in the men's aerials competition at Cypress Mountain, B.C., Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI AGENCY)

WEST VANCOUVER -- Three Canadians landed in the top 10 at Monday’s Olympic freestyle aerials qualifications at Cypress Mountain.

Calgarians Warren Shouldice (sixth) and Kyle Nissen (ninth) along with Kelowna, B.C.‘s Steve Omischl (eighth) confirmed their spots in the Wednesday finals.

"It was very solid. Pretty much exactly what I came out to do,” said Shouldice, who was sixth at Turin 2006. "You can't win the Olympics today, you can only lose it."

Third-ranked Jia Zongyang, the winner of the Calgary world cup in January, was the top qualifier. Ryan St. Onge of the United States and Switzerland’s Thomas Lambert were second and third, respectively. Anton Kushnir of Belarus, the world’s number one ranked aerialist, finished 15th.

"Today, the name of the game is to land your two jumps and for the finals, it's time to step it up," said Omischl, the North Bay, Ont.-native who won 2008 and 2009 world cup events at Cypress. "I'm pleased with both of my take-offs. I was really focused on both and I hit them both.”

VANOC reported 8,800 tickets sold for the Monday qualifier.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca

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