Kearney, Kingsbury grab moguls World Cup wins in China
For the first time ever, a World Cup moguls competition was held in China today (Dec. 21) as North America skiers showed them how it was done, grabbing five of six podium spots at Beida Lake.
On the women’s side, Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney of the U.S. collected her second World Cup win of the young season with a score of 25.34 ahead of Canadian Jennifer Heil in second with 25.26 points. Fellow Canadians Kristi Richards and Audrey Robichaud followed in third and fourth, respectively.
Today's result marked the third consecutive podium finish for Kearney, who has placed first, second and now another first in the opening three stops of the World Cup. Kearney remains firmly in control of the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
"I qualified first after some shaky training," said Kearney. "But I am proud to be the first victor in China."
American women Heather McPhie and Heidi Kloser joined Kearney in the top 10 with fifth and 10th place results. Eliza Outtrim finished 14th to total four American women in the top 15.
"I was really happy that I qualified fourth," said McPhie. "I kind of had a slow start to this season. Coming into finals I had trained a couple of D-spins the day before, so I threw one in the finals. I was really happy to be pushing myself and skiing fast. I’m getting the hunger back to compete."
Canadian men Mikeal Kingsbury (16) and Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau bookended the men’s podium in first and third while Guilbaut Colas of France filled the gap in second. The win was Kingsbury’s first career World Cup victory after he claimed his first Cup podium two weeks ago with a second place finish in Ruka, Finland.
“Before my [final] run, I was listening to the scores from the other competitors and I knew I was in a position to win if I just put down the run I did in training,” said Kingsbury. “I did a clean run with a back full and a cork 720. I wasn’t the fastest guy, but I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson led three U.S. men into the top 10 with a sixth place performance. Jeremy Cota finished seventh, while Sho Kashima and Joe Discoe ended the day in ninth and 10th, respectively.
The U.S. Team not only had to adapt once they were in China, but also had to adjust after more than 50 hours of travel time to get to Beida Lake. Delays kept the Team in Amsterdam overnight before having to spend nearly eight hours on the tarmac before takeoff.
The moguls World Cup season breaks for the holidays with competition resuming Jan. 7 in St. Johann, Austria.
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