With his second victory in two days, Mikaël Kingsbury of Deux-Montagnes, QC, claimed the 70th World Cup victory of his career on Saturday at the individual moguls event in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.
His main rival, Ikuma Horishima of Japan, had the lead on him in the qualifying round and the first final, but at crunch time, the defending Olympic champion pulled out all the stops. In the second final, Kingsbury posted a score of 85.59 points, safely ahead of Sweden’s Walter Wallberg, who placed second with 82.66.
Horishima (78.78) finished third after bungling the landing on his second jump.
Unlike his Japanese opponent, Kingsbury was fast and steady today, making clean landings on both jumps. His victory gives him possession of the yellow bib, worn by the leader in the World Cup standings. He now holds a 12-point lead over Horishima.
“It’s been another great day, but it was a little more difficult today (Saturday). I skied well, but Horishima was on fire and always ahead of me. He wasn’t easy to catch up to,” noted Kingsbury after his last descent.
“There are a few more races to come at Deer Valley, but it feels incredible to have won my 70th World Cup here, and I’m proud to have done it with a double full, to put extra pressure on Ikuma. I’m super excited!”
In the first final, Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, BC) and Laurent Dumais (Quebec City, QC) obtained their best results of the season with 10th and 14th place, respectively. In his second career World Cup start, Alexandre Lavoie (Lac-Beauport, QC) finished 17th, missing the first final by only one spot.
As for the other Canadian men in action today, Jordan Kober (Penticton, BC) finished 22nd, Gabriel Dufresne (Repentigny, QC) 28th, Ryan Portello (Cochrane, AB) 30th, Louis-David Chalifoux (Quebec City, QC) 44th and Julien Viel (Quebec City, QC) 45th.
First Top Ten Finish of the Season for Chloé Dufour-Lapointe
In the women’s competition, Montréalers Chloé and Justine Dufour-Lapointe were the only Canadians in the first final. Chloe finished in eighth place with a score of 76.83 points and missed out on a spot in the six-racer super final by only 0.57 points. Her sister Justine finished 11th.
Reigning Olympic champion Perrine Laffont of France won the event. She was accompanied on the podium by Jakarta Anthony of Australia and Anri Kawamura of Japan.
Maia Schwinghammer of Saskatoon, SK, finished 17th in the qualifying round, one spot away from advancing to the first final. Her compatriot Berkley Brown of Aurora, ON, was right behind her in 18th place. Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert and Valérie Gilbert, both of Sainte-Adèle, QC, finished 22nd and 37th, respectively.
The next World Cup moguls event will take place a week from today in Deer Valley, Utah.