Villars Speed Finals- China Has Arrived!

It was the day of the (almost) Chinese sweep as the men locked up all three medal places along with first and second place for the women.

Before today's competition (and yesterdays qualifier), if I told you there would be five times under 5.30 in the men's final round you would probably guess that Katibin and Leonardo had a hell of a day. Especially after Katibin's world record setting day yesterday.

Instead what we saw were three Chinese athletes putting on an incredible display of speed and consistency in the final round. This consistency culminated with a big final race between Peng Wu and Jianguo Long with near identical runs as seen below.

And while the day itself saw numerous fast runs on both the men's and women's side, I think what needs to be talked about most is the beta the Chinese men's team is using at the end of the race. Take a look below.

Veddriq was maintaining a narrow lead through 2/3 of the course, and then Peng Wu rewrites the script on the last three holds. Opting for a right foot on the jib followed by a left foot low on the hold, he keeps his body on a straighter path while allowing a quicker foot placement for his last powerful push to the top. Veddriq on the other hand has to shift his hips around a foot to the right in order to prep for his top beta. This also makes his right foot only usable for multiple smears at the top rather than generating significant force. These factors all led to the incredible come from behind win we just saw.

I absolutely love seeing this beta on the big stage with quality video (thanks to Albert Ok for sending me those comp videos last year to show me what was coming). The sport is evolving, with new talent and ever changing beta in the race to be the best.

Congrats to the Chinese team, and all of the competitors that made this competition the highest level competition yet!

We're back in about a week to cover the racing at Chamonix. Till then, later speed freaks!

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