From FIS-ski reports
The first dual moguls competition of the season took place on day two of the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup event in Thaiwoo with Jaelin Kauf of the United States and Mikael Kingsbury of Canada once again coming on top of the field to cap off an exciting weekend of moguls action in China.
A narrow quarterfinal-round win by Kingsbury over American Brad Wilson in the quarterfinals helped push the active Canadian legend to the victory. Wilson, a 26-year-old from Butte, Montana, wound up in sixth place in the final standings. For the second consecutive day, Wilson’s finish was the highest among Team USA entries in the men’s event. Wilson ranks eighth overall through three World Cup events held this season.
It was another perfect day in the premier Chinese ski resort in Thaiwoo, as the first duals of the 2018-2019 moguls World Cup season took place on one of the world’s best moguls course, with all top athletes going head-to-head for one last event of 2018 before everyone heads home for the holiday break.
In the women’s competition it was once again Kauf who stormed to her second victory this weekend. In the big final Kauf faced the Olympic champion Perrine Laffont and despite a very tight battle on top of the course, the French skier wasn’t quite able to keep the pace and lost her rhythm, leaving Kauf with back-to-back victories and Laffont forced to settled for the second-place result.
“I’m stoked,” said Kauf, “Taking back-to-back victories feels amazing and I hope to keep pushing my skiing going further into the season to keep that yellow World Cup leader bib.”
With the second victory in Thaiwoo, Kauf also took over the lead in the overall moguls World Cup standings with 245 points after three competitions, giving her a slight 5 point advantage over Laffont.
In the small finals it was Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan who outscored Hinako Tomitaka of Japan, finishing the competition in third for her second World Cup podium of the season.
Things were equally as exciting on the men’s side of things, with plenty of tight battles going down all day long. But in the end it was once again Kingsbury, grabbing his third victory of the season and his sixth win all-time in Thaiwoo, as the Canadian ripper still remains unbeaten on Chinese soil.
“I was quite excited to finally ski duals”, Kingsbury said, “The course was in really good shape this morning. It was fast and I like that. The guys were pushing me to my best and I was able to win again so I’m very happy.”
In the big final Kingsbury faced the Swedish up-and-comer Oskar Eloffson, who gave it all on Sunday, but couldn’t quite stomp his final run of the day and crashed in the middle section of the course. Still, Eloffson ranked second on the day for a hugely encouraging career-best result in only his fifth World Cup appearance.
In men’s small final it was Ben Cavet of France who came out victorious over Ikuma Horishima Japan, rounding out the podium on third for his second World Cup top-3 spot of the 2018-19 season so far.
In the moguls World Cup ranking it’s Kingsbury who leads the way with a perfect 300 points after his three victories so far this season. Cavet sits in second with 190 points, while Horishima is holding on to third place with 170 points.
The FIS Freestyle Ski moguls World Cup is heading for a holiday break now and will come back in the new year, with the next competition slated to go down in Calgary on January 12.
— compiled by Bruce Sayler for buttesports.com