Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Aerialist Ala Tsuper claims third gold for Belarus in Sochi

Dzmitry ULASAW, Naviny.by

Ala Tsuper of Belarus won the women's freestyle aerials Olympic tournament on Friday, earning the third gold medal for the country at the Sochi Games, BelaPAN said.

The 34-year-old Tsuper, who returned to training last August after giving birth to a daughter, earned a score of 98.01 points in the four-competitor final, an impressive 14.51 points ahead of the runner-up, China's Mengtao Xu. Lydia Lassila of Australia took the bronze.

This was the Ukrainian-born Tsuper's fifth Olympic tournament. Her previous best finish was the fifth place at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, when she represented Ukraine. The diminutive aerial skier has competed for Belarus since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Her gold brought Belarus' medal haul to a record high of four, taking the country to the seventh place in the provisional medal standings.

Belarus won two silver medals at the 1994 Games, two bronze medals at the 1998 Olympics, one bronze at the 2002 Olympics, one silver at the Turin Olympics in 2006 and three medals at the 2010 Vancouver Games.