Mikaël Kingsbury continued what is arguably one of the most prolific and impressive seasons in freestyle history by winning the dual moguls event at a FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup held in Tazawako, Japan today.
Kingsbury defeated teammate Philippe Marquis 19-16 in the finals to earn the title.
The victory enabled Kingsbury to break and tie two records held by legendary mogul skiers.
“It’s really such an incredible moment and feeling,” said Kingsbury. “I’m so proud of what I accomplished. It definitely wasn’t easy doing this here. All my duals were difficult. I tried not to focus on the record today. The goal today was to really focus on my skiing and not worry about anything else. I think doing that gave me a shot at doing well and making the finals. I knew Phil was really going to challenge me and that it would be one of my fastest matchups. It really turned into a day I will never forget.”
Tazawako also marked the 28th FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup victory of Kingsbury’s young career and ties him with Frenchman Edgar Grospiron on the all-time list. Kingsbury, 22, reached the milestone in 60 World Cups compared to Grospiron who won number 28 on his 78th start.
Kingsbury, who also won the Tazawako single mogul event yesterday and in the process clinched the Crystal Globe awarded to the FIS moguls points leader, has now distanced himself to potentially win the FIS overall points title.
“To have seven straight victories and to break the record while competing in dual moguls is a great feeling,” added Mik. “To equal Grospiron’s record of 28 wins while winning here is amazing. It’s one of the best victories of my career. When there’s all this pressure on me I really remind myself to have fun and why I started doing this. I told myself that before each race today. I gave it my all. It was very emotional for me when it was all done. My teammates are amazing and really showed me so much love. I can’t wait to celebrate.”
In all, it was an impressive day for the men’s team. Four out of the top-five athletes were Canadian including Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh and Marc-Antoine Gagnon who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The team nearly had a clean sweep of the podium, but Pouliot-Cavanagh was narrowly beat 18-17 for third place by Australian Matt Graham.
“It’s great to get on the podium once again because I really wanted to finish the year strong,” said Marquis. “Coming into this event I knew that I was also third overall in the standings and I knew I had to have a good showing here to stay in the top-three. I put some added pressure on myself, but that’s what made me perform the way I did. I’m proud to finish second.
“My hats off to Mik because everyone was gunning for him this weekend and he was still able to pull off history. I really gave it my all against him because I think that’s what he’d want. What he did today is amazing.”
The Canadian women also had an impressive day with all six competitors making the round of 16, including Alex-Anne Gagnon who finished a career-best fourth place.
Gagnon ended up losing her third place match against Hannah Kearney (USA) 20-15. The title was eventually one by American Morgan Schild who defeated Japan’s Satsuki Ito 18-17.
Kingsbury now has an opportunity to break Grospiron’s record during the World Cup season finale in Megève, France on Saturday, March 15.
Tazawako World Cup Standings – Dual Moguls
Mikaël Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, QC) – 1st
Philippe Marquis (Quebec City, QC) –2nd
Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh (Quebec City, QC) – 4th
Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, QC) – 5th
Kerrian Chunlaud (Ste-Foy, QC) – 30th
Luke Ulsifer (Calgary, AB) – 35th
Alex-Anne Gagnon (Terrebone, QC) – 4th
Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) – 5th
Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) – 9th
Audrey Robichaud (Quebec City, QC) – 10th
Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal, QC) – 11th
Andi Naude (Penticton, BC) – 13th
Christel Hamel (Montreal,QC) – 16th
Photo: Joe FItzgerald/FIS
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The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association is the governing body in Canada for the sport of Freestyle Skiing. With the support of its valued corporate along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the CFSA develops Olympic and world champions in all disciplines of the sport.