From FIS-Ski Reports
SHYMBULAK, Kazakhstan — As the the clocked ticked nearer to the scheduled start time and the heavily falling snow picked up in intensity as the day progressed, the unfortunate reality of the situation at the 2018-19 FIS Freestyle Ski moguls World Cup final event of the season in Shymbulak made itself clear; there would be no grand finale to what had been another breathtaking season of moguls action.
With organisers, crews, and officials pushed to their limit in fighting a losing battle against the accumulating snow and low visibility, the difficult decision to cancel the race was made by the jury. Mother Nature would deny all moguls fans from witnessing an event that had all the makings of an epic to close out the season with highly anticipated dual moguls competition set to cap off an exciting couple of days at the brand new World Cup venue in Kazakhstan’s Shymbulak Ski Resort.
In the prize-giving ceremony under the falling snow in the finish area France’s Perrine Laffont get her hand on her second consecutive moguls World Cup crystal globe. The 20-year-old has been a dominant force on tour in 2018-2019 as she edged out second in the ranking, USA’s Jaelin Kauf, with 780 points to 570 points.
Butte’s Brad Wilson wound up eighth in the men’s moguls World Cup rankings and was the highest-placed Team USA man in the rankings. The 26-year-old Wilson is a Butte Central graduate and two-time Olympian. His older brother, Bryon, a Butte High graduate scored a Bronze Medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics and now coaches in the Team USA program based in Park City, Utah.
Laffont earned a top-three finish in each of season’s nine World Cup competitions, coming on top of the podium four times. Laffont also won the gold medal in dual moguls competition at the Utah 2019 world championships in Deer Valley, while she also finished in third in the individual moguls competition at the same event. Finally she will be looking to clinch her career’s first overall FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup crystal globes once other disciplines wrap up their seasons in a couple of weeks time. All in all it’s been another tremendous season for Laffont and it looks like the future in ladies’ mogul skiing for Les Blues is bright for years to come.
Aforementioned Kauf took the runner-up position on 2018-19 tour with Australia’s Jakarta Anthony, who skipped the season’s final competition in Kazakhstan, rounding out the women’s’ podium in third with 545 points.
Over on the men’s side no one else but the king of moguls, Mikael Kingsbury, of Canada reached for his eight consecutive moguls as well as the overall FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup crystal globe, getting an inch closer to Connie Kissling’s record of 10 Freestyle overall titles. Kingsbury won seven out of nine World Cup competitions in 2018-19 and finished the season far ahead of his competitors with 825 points, proving yet once again that he’s the most dominant skier on the entire FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup tour.
Second place on tour in 2018-19 went to Saturday’s winner and one of the only two men, who managed to beat Kingsbury this season, Ikuma Horishima of Japan, with the second of that duo, France’s Benjamin Cavet, coming just behind in third. Horishima finished the season with 517 points, while Cavet gathered 470 points.
As the 2018-19 wrapped up in Kazakhstan, Russia’s Anastasiia Smirnova and Sweden’s Oskar Elofsson were handed out the Rookie of the Year awards, while Canada yet once topped the Nations Cups standing.
— Compiled by Bruce Sayler for buttesports.com