Tazawako, Japan, March 3, 2018 – In the wake of the PyeongChang Olympics, mogul athletes were back on the slopes in Tazawako today for the eighth FIS Freestyle World Cup competition of the 2017-2018 season. Olympic medallists Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Mikaël Kingsbury have maintained their pre-Games and Games momentum to each earn second place in this first of two events in Tazawako.
On the men’s side, the athletes seem to have picked up exactly where they left off before the Olympics, with the same line-up on the podium as at the Tremblant World Cup: Ikuma Horishima, Mikaël Kingsbury and Dmitriy Reikherd.
“I had a good day overall despite not having a lot of time to train on this course, as training was cancelled on the first day and yesterday the weather was bad,” explained Kingsbury. “I showed up here for the competition without knowing the course that well. I was first after the qualification round, and again after the first final, but in the super final, Ikuma managed a huge run. I pushed a little more and gained a second, but I tackled the bottom jump with too much speed and made a small mistake,”
he added, happy nonetheless with the way he pushed to try to beat the score of Ikuma, who seemed to be determined to take Kingsbury’s place on the top step of the podium.
On the women’s side, Perrine Laffont and Justine Dufour-Lapointe were once again matched up on the podium, as they were in PyeongChang last February 11.
“I am extremely pleased with my result today. After the Olympics, we always feel more tired, but the energy here was amazing today. The Japanese were happy to welcome us and it pushed me to give them a good show,” said Dufour-Lapointe, whose last medal on Japanese soil was back in 2014. “I was fifth after the first final and I told myself that I had to give it my all. I needed to go bigger on my jumps and give everything I had, hoping for the best. When I crossed the finish line, I felt very happy with my run.”
The king-turned-emperor of moguls, after his Olympic gold medal win in PyeongChang, has solidified his lead with today’s result in the FIS moguls standings (760 points) as well as in the overall freestyle disciplines standings (95 points). He is well on his way to winning both Crystal Globes for a seventh consecutive season.
Men: Mikaël Kingsbury, Deux-Montagnes, QC (2), Marc-Antoine Gagnon, Terrebonne, QC (23), Laurent Dumais, Quebec City, QC (17), Kerrian Chunlaud, Ste-Foy, QC (25), Luke Ulsifer, Calgary, AB (28), Brenden Kelly, Pemberton, BC (35).
Ladies: Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Montreal, QC (2), Audrey Robichaud, Quebec City, QC (9), Chloé Dufour-Lapointe, Montreal, QC (11), Valérie Gilbert, Ste-Adèle, QC (19), Alex-Anne Gagnon, Terrebonne, QC (20), Andi Naude, Penticton, BC (28).
FIS World Cup – March 2-3 – Silvaplana – Slopestyle
FIS World Cup – March 4 – Tazawako – Dual moguls
FIS World Cup – March 10 – Airolo – Dual moguls
FIS World Cup – March 14-16 – Seiser Alm – Slopestyle
FIS World Cup – March 18 – Megève – Dual moguls