It was a sweep for Mikaël Kingsbury in the dual moguls event on Saturday at the Freestyle World Cup in Alpe d’Huez, France. The Québécois’s opponents didn’t stand a chance as he snagged his third victory of the season and closed out the first part of the calendar on a high note.
Kingsbury came out of the qualifiers in first place and put so much pressure on his opponents in every round that none of them were able to execute a clean run. The athlete from Deux-Montagnes capped off his perfect day by defeating Sweden’s Walter Wallberg in the final run.
“It went really well for me! I love the duals and it was a great day, especially with the nice weather. I was happy with my skiing yesterday (Friday) and I knew my speed was good. I knew I had a good chance in the duals and it feels good to end the weekend on a high note,” said Kingsbury, who won a bronze medal yesterday.
In today’s battle for bronze, Ikuma Horishima of Japan edged out Cole McDonald of the USA. Horishima therefore remains in first place in the overall World Cup standings, with a slim eight-point lead over Kingsbury.
Looking forward to the many challenges that await him after the holidays, reigning World Champion Kingsbury will now enjoy a well-deserved break before embarking on his journey to the Beijing Olympics and the pursuit of a tenth Crystal Globe.
“Ikuma (Horishima) and I have a great relationship and our rivalry drives us to push the limits of our sport. Obviously, I’m really happy to win a gold medal right before Christmas. Now I can go home to rest and get ready for the next part of the season!” he concluded.
Also in men’s competition, Gabriel Dufresne (Repentigny, QC) and Elliot Vaillancourt(Drummondville, QC) finished 10th and 15th respectively after losing in the round of sixteen.
Jordan Kober (Penticton, BC) and Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, BC) were shut down in the qualifiers and finished 38th and 51st.
On the women’s side, Justine Dufour-Lapointe posted the best Canadian result of the day with a sixth-place finish. The Montréaler’s run came to an end in her quarter-final race against Jaelin Kauf of the USA.
Maia Schwinghammer (Saskatoon, SK) also made it to the quarter-finals but was defeated by Kai Owens of the USA, who went on to win bronze. Schwinghammer finished eighth.
The only other Canadian in action on Saturday was Sofiane Gagnon of Whistler, BC, who was eliminated early and finished 11th. Her opponent Jakara Anthony of Australia moved on to the big final, where she defeated Anastasiia Smirnova of Russia for her second win in two days at Alpe d’Huez.
Berkley Brown of Aurora, ON, and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe of Montréal, QC, did not make it to the elimination round. They finished 22nd and 24th respectively in Thursday’s qualifying runs.
The next Moguls World Cup is scheduled for January 7-8 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.