Still in the wake of the PyeongChang Olympics, mogul athletes were back on the slopes in Tazawako today for the eighth FIS Freestyle World Cup competition of the 2017-2018 season. Olympic medallists Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Mikaël Kingsbury have maintained their pre-Games and Games momentum to each earn the second place in this first of two events in Tazawako.
On the men’s side, the athletes seem to have picked up exactly where they left off before the Olympics, with the same exact line-up on the podium as at the Tremblant World Cup, with Ikuma Horishima, Mikaël Kingsbury and Dmitriy Reikherd. “I had a good day overall despite not having a lot of time to train on this course as training was cancelled on the first day and yesterday, the weather was bad,” explained Kingsbury. “I showed up here for the competition without knowing the course that well. I was first after the qualification round, and again after the first final, but in the super final, Ikuma managed a huge run. I pushed a little more and gained a second, but I tackled the bottom jump with too much speed and made a small mistake,” added Kingsbury who is nevertheless happy with the way he pushed to try to beat Ikuma’s score, who seems to be determined to take Kingsbury’s place on the top step of the podium.
On the ladies side, Perrine Laffont and Justine Dufour-Lapointe were once again matched up on the podium as it was the case in PyeongChang last February 11. “I am extremely pleased with my result today. After the Olympics, we always feel more tired, but the energy here was amazing today. The Japanese were happy to welcome us and it pushed me to give them a good show,” said Justine Dufour-Lapointe whose last medal on Japanese soil was back in 2014. “I was fifth after the first final and I told myself that I had to give it my all. I needed to go bigger on my jumps and give everything I could hoping for the best. When I crossed the finish line, I felt very happy with my run.”
Kingsbury: on his way to a seventh Crystal Globe
With today’s result, the king of moguls turned emperor with his Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang has solidified his lead in the FIS moguls standings (760 points) as well as in the overall freestyle disciplines standings (95 points). He is well on his way to winning both Crystal Globes for a seventh consecutive season.
Canadian athletes’ results:
Men: Mikaël Kingsbury, Deux-Montagnes, Qc (2), Marc-Antoine Gagnon, Terrebonne, Qc (23), Laurent Dumais, Quebec City, Qc (17), Kerrian Chunlaud, Ste-Foy, Qc (25), Luke Ulsifer, Calgary, AB (28), Brenden Kelly, Pemberton, BC (35).
Ladies: Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Montréal, Qc (2), Audrey Robichaud, Quebec City, Qc (9), Chloé Dufour-Lapointe, Montreal, Qc (11), Valérie Gilbert, Ste-Adèle, Qc (19), Alex-Anne Gagnon, Terrebonne, Qc (20), Andi Naude, Penticton, BC (28).
Upcoming events (March)
- FIS World Cup – March 2-3 – Silvaplana – Slopestyle
- FIS World Cup – March 4 – Tazawako – Dual moguls
- FIS World Cup – March 10 – Airolo – Dual moguls
- FIS World Cup – March 14-16 – Seiser Alm – Slopestyle
- FIS World Cup – March 18 – Megève – Dual moguls