SHENYANG, Liaoning Province, March 14, 2017 (Xinhua) – The winning of two medals at two consecutive top FIS events in less than a week marked a strong return by Xu Mengtao, the leading Chinese female freestyle skier.
Xu sustained a bad knee injury at the National Winter Games in January 2016, and had to spend months in wheelchair.
On March 4, she won a silver medal in women’s freestyle aerial at the Moscow 2017 FIS World Cup. Six days later, she scored 91.65 points and ranked the third in the same event at the 2017 FIS World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
“The championships in Spain were the most important event for me before PyeongChang 2018. Many top skiers took part in the competition. There was nothing wrong with my knees, but my back injury reappeared. I had to take painkillers during training and competition. I was satisfied to win a bronze medal,” Xu told Xinhua after returning to China.
“I’d like to thank all the people for their support when I was in wheelchair waiting to stand up and recover. It’s not the time to think about retirement. I’ll do my best in PyeongChang,” she added.
Born in 1990 in China’s northeast province of Liaoning, Xu is now the top Chinese female freestyle skier following Li Nina’s retirement. She once won a gold in women’s freestyle aerial at the 2013 FIS World Championship in Norway, and a silver for China a year later in Sochi.