Mikaël Kingsbury tops the podium again ! Photo: FIS Freestyle

Single moguls and a tough course were on the agenda today at the first of two contests of the FIS Freestyle World Cup in Thaiwoo, China. The Canadian athletes were back in action two weeks after their first competition in Ruka, Finland.

Once again, the “king of moguls” dominated the course that was his domain last year when he won two consecutive medals to close out the 2016/2017 season. With today’s fresh win, Kingsbury brings his consecutive World Cup wins to nine and his career total to an impressive 44. The Canadian skier was more than happy at the end of his first day in Thaiwoo. “Once again I was able to change gears at the right time and I did my best run in the super final. The day started well. I had a great qualifying run this morning that put me in the lead. I made a few little mistakes in the final but it still put me in fourth for the super final. And that’s when I had my best run,” said Kingsbury, who had to wait while the judges sorted out an error before celebrating his win. “The judges put the wrong cork on the bottom air – they noted a 720 cork instead of the 1080 cork, and that put me in second place after Matt Graham’s run. But it was a judging error that they fixed and put me in first.” The skier says the win was even more welcome after the stressful trip to China, when his luggage and skis went AWOL and only turned up the day before the first official training.

On the women’s side, Andi Naude garnered a third-place finish on the podium. After coming in fourth at the season’s first World Cup rendezvous in Ruka, Naude was pleased with her day today. “I am really happy about today! Being able to ski in the three rounds from qualification to final and super final was my goal and also to stick to the process and ski my best every single run. I am really excited to have been able to use my backfull in all three runs. Obviously the harder degree of difficulty is really valuable,” said the Penticton, B.C. skier, who hopes to repeat her winning formula tomorrow.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe finished just outside the podium, right behind teammate Andi Naude.

This is the second time the Canadian athletes compete on this site, which will be the venue of many contests at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. Last year, the Canadian moguls skiers also ended their season in Thaiwoo with a double program, albeit a single and dual. Mikaël Kingsbury had earned two consecutive wins and Justine Dufour-Lapointe had finished second in singles and third in dual moguls.

Canadian athletes’ results:

Men: Mikaël Kingsbury (1), Philippe Marquis (8), Marc-Antoine Gagnon (10), Kerrian Chunlaud (14), Laurent Dumais (34), Simon Lemieux (39), Gabriel Dufresne (41)

Ladies: Andi Naude (3), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (4), Audrey Robichaud (13), Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (15), Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (27), Alex-Anne Gagnon (30)