Gu takes second medal of Beijing Games but settles for silver

ZHANGJIAKOU: Californian-born Chinese sensation Eileen Gu won her second medal of the Beijing Olympics on Tuesday but had to settle for silver in a freeski slopestyle competition won by Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud.

The 18-year-old Gu, the face of the Games after winning gold for China in Big Air last week, was third after her first run and took a hefty backwards tumble on her second, leaving her in eighth place heading into her third and final run.

She nailed her last attempt to jump into second, but faced a nervous wait with Norway’s Johanne Killi and Estonian competition favourite Kelly Sildaru still to go.

Neither could match Gu’s score of 86.23, giving her the silver medal.

“I wanted to get on the podium more than anything, so landing I just felt relieved,” said Gu, munching on a local steamed bun after the competition.

“I’m out here representing myself and the sport to people so just to be able to put down a run and show people what’s possible when you’re under pressure is another thing that I’m proud to represent.”

Gu will have another shot at a medal in freeski halfpipe, with the qualification round taking place on Thursday and the final on Friday.

She the “trifecta” of three freestyle skiing medals at the Games had “always been my goal”.

“It’s definitely lofty but it’s something I know I can do,” she said.

Gremaud won gold with a score of 86.56. Sildaru took bronze on 82.06.