Kearney, Deneen bronze in Norway, Canadians golden
With sunny skies and an energetic crowd, Hannah Kearney and Patrick Deneen both battled through the small final to win bronze in dual moguls at the 2013 Voss FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships.
"Today was definitely a good day," said Deneen. "When we got to the course this morning it was in rough shape, but the more we got to ski it the better it got. I am really satisfied with the way I skied all week; to walk away with two medals at World Championships is a huge accomplishment. Obviously I would have like to have been higher up on the podium but this is just more fire for me as I look towards Sochi."
Friday made two medals out of two for them both at the World Champs. Kearney stole gold in moguls Wednesday with her clean, calculated skiing and Deneen took bronze with his voracious speed.
"My finals run was by far my best run of the day," said Kearney. "I had my best start out of the gate, a clean layout and I was able to stand up tall and ski more directly through my top air. I had a mute grab off my bottom air which was the first time I've completed that in a duals competition so that's something I'm extremely proud of."
Kearney skied over her pole and lost a ski going into the bottom air in the semi finals, putting her in the small final with her hard charging teammate Heather McPhie. Kearney outscored McPhie 24 to 11, taking the bronze and resulting in McPhie’s second fourth place in the World Champs.
Canada continued its FIS World Championships mogul domination here today with Alex Bilodeau and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe winning the dual mogul titles and Wednesday’s single mogul World Champion Mikael Kingsbury winning silver in exciting head-to-head action.
With the win, reigning Olympic Champion Bilodeau became the first man to win three consecutive world championships in dual moguls.
After beating Deneen, Bilodeau faced teammate Mikael Kingsbury in the final round in a repeat performance from 2011 Worlds in Deer Valley when Bilodeau and Kingsbury also faced each other in the finals.
But today’s race was a dual for the history books, with both men going full out and throwing huge airs. In the end Bilodeau just edged Kingsbury with a score of 18 to 17.
“I had a good day,” said Bilodeau. “I felt good skiing. [I] Probably put my best skiing out there and I’m glad to end up with a huge dual with [Kingsbury]. Honestly, it could have gone, [either way]. I can’t wait to see the video, I’m sure it was super tight.”
Kingsbury agreed that the dual with Bilodeau was very close. “It was a good on for sure. I always need to push and focus when I’m skiing. And in duals I’m always saying the same words, ‘never give up.’ Today could have gone both ways like people said, but I’m happy with my performance and my skiing.”
The young man from Deux-Montagnes, Que., who has won six World Cups this season and has 28 World Cup podiums, added that it was unfortunate he also had to go up against teammates Marc-Antoine Gagnon from Terrebonne, Que. and Phil Marquis of Quebec City en route to finals.
“I was unlucky to have to go against those guys, it’s too bad when we have to eliminate our teammates. They are both great skiers and they pushed me a lot today.”
Marquis ended the day in seventh while Gagnon was 15th. Cedric Rochon of St. Sauveur, Que. was 30th after the qualification round.
Newly crowned World Champion Chloé Dufour-Lapointe faced her toughest dual in the first round when she her faced little sister, Justine.
“It was really hard. Yesterday when I saw we were going to be against each other I was sad because we couldn’t be the two of us on the podium,” said the 2010 Olympian.
Justine agreed, but was overjoyed for her sister, “I’m just so happy for her now. She is skiing so well and after she won against me I just felt that today was her day. I’m so proud of her.”
After beating Justine, everything else was smooth sailing as Chloé confidently beat Nikola Sudova of the Czech Republic and McPhie on her way to an exciting final dual with Miki Ito of Japan.
And while she was the epitome of collected confidence on the course, the 21-year-old from Montreal could hardly contain her emotions in the finish as she broke down in tears when she realized what she had accomplished.
“I’m so happy, and full of emotion. I’m trying to realize what I just did. It’s my first gold ever in the World Cup International circuit,” she explained, adding, “I knew it was possible [to win the title] but to be sure of each run I had to focus on the present moment. I kept following what my coaches [Jean-Paul Richard and Marc-André Moreau] told me, ‘Don’t think about the future, stay in the present, and it’s gonna come.’ That’s what I did today and I got it done,” she said proudly.