Canadian Clinches 69th Career World Cup Victory
Mikaël Kingsbury delivered a performance befitting his reputation at the Freestyle Skiing World Cup moguls event on Friday in Mont-Tremblant. True to form, the Québécois bucked the pressure in the super final, throwing down a spectacular run that earned him a 69th World Cup victory.
As the last skier to descend after having dominated the qualification and the first final, the “King” made it clear he will be difficult to bump from the top spot between now and the end of the season. In addition to posting the fastest time in the super final (16.59 s), the skier from Deux-Montagnes earned the highest marks from the judges to finish at the top of today’s standings with 86.24 points.
“It’s just amazing to get my 69th win at home! It’s crazy, the numbers are just unbelievable. It feels great. I had a great time today,” he said in an interview following his run.
The Canadian had his work cut out for him after his main rivals Walter Wallberg and Ikuma Horishima posted their best runs of the day in the final.
However, the 84.65 points earned by Sweden’s Wallberg were not enough to secure what would have been his first career gold medal. He finished in second place, just ahead of Japan’s Horishima (83.17 points).
With his fourth win of the season, Kingsbury moves into first place in the overall World Cup moguls standings with 492 points, 32 points ahead of Horishima.
“I feel awesome right now! So far this season, I haven’t always been able to put down the runs that I wanted, but today was pretty good. I was consistent all day, but I know I’m capable of better, which is good heading into the Games,” said Kingsbury, who will attempt to defend his Olympic title at the Beijing Games in less than a month.
Also in action at Mont-Tremblant today were Gabriel Dufresne (Repentigny, QC), Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, BC), Jordan Kober (Penticton, BC) and Laurent Dumais (Québec, QC), all of whom advanced to the first final and finished 10th, 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively.
Alexandre Lavoie (Lac-Beauport, QC), Ryan Portello (Cochrane, AB), Olivier Lessard (Saint-Adèle, QC) and Daniel Tanner (Calgary, AB) were stopped in the qualifications and finished 37th, 38th, 42nd and 46th.
Today’s event was the first World Cup experience for local skiers Lavoie and Lessard, as well as for Tanner.
On the women’s side, sisters Justine and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe were the only Canadians among the top 16 skiers who advanced past the qualifiers. However, neither of the Montréalers was able to secure a spot in the top six who moved on to the super final. Justine posted the best Canadian result with 9th place, while Chloe was 14th.
Berkley Brown of Aurora, ON, finished 18th in the qualifications, followed by teammates Maia Schwinghammer (Saskatoon, SK) and Valérie Gilbert (Saint-Adèle, QC), who finished the event in 19th and 20th place. Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert (Saint-Adèle, QC) did not complete her only run of the day.
Anri Kawamura of Japan was crowned the winner of the women’s event with 81.76 points. Perrine Laffont of France came in second with 81.43 points and Tess Johnson of the USA was third with 79.25.
The World Cup will continue on Saturday in Mont-Tremblant with a second moguls event.