Kelly Sildaru wins bronze in Beijing

Freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru has ended Estonia's 12-year Winter Olympics medals drought by bagging bronze in the Women's Freeski Slopestyle in Beijing.

After topping the qualification table, Sildaru, 19, finished third with 82.06 points, following Mathilde Gremaud (Switzerland, 86.56 points) and Eileen Gu (China, 86.23).

Sildaru, who was also one of Estonia's two flag-bearers at the opening ceremony in Beijing, posted her 82.06 points on the first outing (of three) and initially led, though Gremaud overtook her in the second run and local hero Gu did so in the final run.

Sildaru's second attempt saw her lose a ski, a problem which had dogged her in the Big Air event last week, where she had failed to make it through qualifying.

Estonia's last Winter Olympics medals came in Vancouver in 2010, when cross-country skier Kristina Šmigun-Vähi won silver in the 10km event.

Sildaru's other career highlights to date include her gold at the Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne in 2020 and her six golds at the X-Games, the Colorado event where she first burst on to the scene in 2016, at the age of 13.

The bronze is also the first Winter Olympics medal from an Estonian athlete in a discipline other than cross-country skiing. The overall medals tally for Estonia before Tuesday stood at seven: Four gold, two silver, one bronze.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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