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Jonathon Lillis leads qualifying for men’s aerials final with highest score

Freestyle Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 8

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17: Jonathon Lillis of the United States celebrates during the Freestyle Skiing Men’s Aerials Qualification on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 17, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

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The men’s aerials qualifying saw a very high level of jumps. In the first round, the bubble score was 124.34. American Jonathon Lillis rose the occasion. He came into the Olympics ranked 10th in the world.

Lillis chose to execute a quadruple twisting triple back flip, a popular choice in the first round. He did it perfectly. He had huge height and nailed the landing. He was rewarded with a score of 127.44. It ended up being the highest qualifying score of the night, so he will jump last in the final. How to watch every single Olympic freestyle skiing competition live

Teammates Mac Bohonnon and Eric Loughran failed to qualify for the final. Bohonnon was considered a medal contender for the U.S. On his first jump, Bohonnon couldn’t land his jump properly. He landed too hard on his left ski. On his second jump, he executed the difficult back full- double full- full. However, on a day where the top six executed their jumps perfectly, it was not enough.

The last jump came down to reigning gold medalist, Anton Kushnir. After a mistake on the first jump, he had to nail his second in order to qualify. In the air, Kushnir bent his legs which left doubt. He landed perfectly, but the judges weren’t satisfied. He earned a score of 121.27, which put him in seventh. The reigning gold medalist missed qualifying by .45 of a point.

Click here to read the full recap from the men’s aerials qualification