Hannah Kearney (USA) and Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) claimed victories in the season’s first FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup competition at Finland’s Ruka Ski Resort Saturday.
In the ladies’ event, Kearney, as she’s done so many times over the last several seasons, led the charge with a score of 25.07 points to put herself ahead of Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN, 23.90) and Aiko Uemura (JPN, 23.69). The win was the 37th victory of Kearney’s carer in her 98th World Cup start and, though she had to fight her way to first after registering a second place qualification result and finding herself in 3rd position heading into the super final, the American continues a reign of dominance that shows no signs of slowing down.
“I could not have asked for a more satisfying day,” said Kearney. “There was something about building your way up. I was second, then I was third getting into the superfinal. This first place and more than that winning the way I did gives me a lot of confidence right on the Olympic season.”
“It’s hard to describe how I feel right now, I can’t believe I got on the podium today,” said Dufour-Lapointe. “I feel awesome. I worked so hard this summer, the first World Cup event is always really stressful, and I just really managed to do it so well and now I’m so happy that I worked so hard all last summer just for that. I couldn’t thank enough my coach. It was painful, but it paid off.”
On the men’s side, the Canadians celebrated a 1-2-punch, as Kingsbury laid down a run worthy of 26.93 points to narrowly best countryman and friendly rival Alex Bilodeau (26.54), who took second. Sho Endo (JPN) rounded out the podium in third position (25.24).
“It was crazy, competing for the whole day against Alex (Bilodeau) is so demanding and tough,” says Kingsbury. “We’ve pushed the whole day, and it was cool that I was able to put out my best run right in the superfinal. The day’s done and now I’m finally going home for Christmas.”
Kingsbury’s victory was the 17th of his still-young career and, coming in his 42nd World Cup appearance, puts him in the remarkable position of winning fully 40% of the World Cup events he’s entered in his career.
Release courtesy of FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup