Sun, December 21, 2008
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China's Zhao grabs first career World Cup win

2008-12-20 13:05:36 GMT2008-12-20 21:05:36 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

China's Zhao Shanshan shows her gold medal during the Women Freestyle FIS World Cup Changchun stage at the Adventure Mountains in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Dec. 20, 2008. Zhao won the champion of aerials with 201.63 points. (Xinhua/Xu Jiajun)

China's Zhao Shanshan performs during the Women Freestyle FIS World Cup Changchun stage at the Adventure Mountains in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Dec. 20, 2008. Zhao won the champion of aerials with 201.63 points. (Xinhua/Xu Jiajun)

China's Zhao Shanshan (L) celebrates with her compatriot Li Nina during the Women Freestyle FIS World Cup Changchun stage at the Adventure Mountains in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Dec. 20, 2008. Zhao won the champion of aerials with 201.63 points. Li took the silver with 192.81 points. (Xinhua/Xu Jiajun)

CHANGCHUN, Northeast China, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Zhao Shanshan surprised all to win the title of the women's freestyle aerials at a World Cup event here on Saturday.

It was the 21-year-old's first title in her career and also China's first World Cup win in the new season.

"It's really a surprise. We hadn't expected Zhao performed so well," said Ji Dong, a coach of the Chinese national team. "She will boost our confidence in our preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games."

Zhao scored a total of 201.63 points for the win, followed by teammate and Olympic silver medalist Li Nina. Lassila Lydia of Australia, winner of the season-opening leg, finished third.

"It's an unforgettable day for me," Zhao said. "It's my first world title."

Zhao, who started her career when she was 12, said her aim is to win the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

"My goal is certainly the Olympic gold medal," she said. "I am very confident."

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