From The International Ski Federation
VOSS, Norway — On a near-perfect day and on a near-perfect course, the top 18 men’s and women’’ moguls skiers in the world took to the hills of Myrkdalen Wednesday seeking to lay claim to the title of 2013 FIS Freestyle World Champion.
By the time things were all said and done we were left, quite fittingly, with a podium roll-call that read very much like an up-to-date print-out of the top of the World Cup moguls leaderboard.
On the men’s side Mikael Kingsbury of Canada won, followed by teammate Alex Bilodeau in second and Patrick Deneen of the United States in third, exactly the same as the three men find themselves stacked up in the Cup rankings.
Butte brothers Bryon and Brad Wilson both cracked the top 10 and were the next two Americans in the result standings. Brad Wilson, 19, placed eighth and his older brother, Bryon, the 2010 Winter Olympics Bronze Medalist in the discipline, placed 10th.
The brothers were very close in their finish. Brad’s final result was 24.82 points while Bryon scored a 24.81 total for the day. Kingsbury came in at 27.59, Bilodeau at 26.95 and Deneen at 26.90.
Brad Wilson is the reigning World Juniors champion and was the 2011-12 World Cup tour Rookie of the Year.
In the women’s competition, American Hannah Kearney was able to edge Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Canada, who in turn was just able to hold off Bozeman native , oHeather McPhie, of Team USA. Had Miki Ito of Japan not slipped in between Kearney and Dufour-Lapointe to relegate the Canadian to third and McPhie to fourth, the women’s final, too, would have ended as a carbon copy of the World Cup standings.
All Americans entered in the moguls competition qualified for the finals.
The performances by Kearney and Kingsbury were both a testament to those athletes’ consistency as well as an exclamation point placed at the end of two incredible years for both athletes.
Both the American Kearney and the Canadian Kingsbury claimed their respective moguls and freestyle overall Crystal Globes in 2012, both managed to string together some incredible, record-breaking streaks (16 wins in a row for Kearney, ending in 2012; 19 podiums in a row for Kingsbury, ending in February of this year), and both seem destined to again take home the moguls Globe.
The World Championship title was the first for Kingsbury and the second for Kearney, though her last one came eight years ago, in 2005.
Neither athlete was challenged especially hard on their way to gold, until Kingsbury’s teammate Bilodeau threw down what was the highest-scoring run of either day of moguls competition up to that point. Kingsbury then, as he does, simply dropped in and went one better, with a blisteringly fast run punctuated by two perfect airs to score a 91.96 to beat Bilodeau’s 89.83.
For Kearney, it was more or less a cake walk, as the decorated athlete registered a score nearly 6 full points stronger than Ito’s best effort, 89.0 to Ito’s 83.06.
The dual moguls finals are set for Thursday.