Estonian freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru reached the final of a freestyle World Cup competition in Stubai, Austria, on Friday.
Sildaru finished her first qualification run with a result of 87.70 points, which put her atop the heat, but Swiss skier Mathilde Gremaud was able to exceed Sildaru's result in the second run, finishing with a result of 89.02 points. While the Estonian improved upon her earlier result, she was not able to capture first in the qualification with a result of 88.66 points.
The event at Stubai is the second freestyle World Cup stage of the season and the final will be held on Saturday. Sildaru missed the first event of the season due to a thumb injury she endured in a training camp fall in October.
There will be two more stages of the World Cup competition - in Mammoth, U.S. and Font Romeus, France - before the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in February.
Sildaru finished 12th in the World Cup last season with 96 total points. French skier Tess Ledeux was crowned champion, Gremaud finished the season second, followed by compatriot Sarah Foefflin.
At the start of the year, Sildaru hurt her knee and missed the end of the season due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The skier has dealt with knee injuries before, missing the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Sildaru is a five-time X Games gold medalist, becoming the youngest gold medalist at a Winter X Games event at the age of 13. The 19-year old also has one gold medal from the world championships and won a gold medal from the Winter Youth Olympics in 2020.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste