Canadian moguls dominance in Deer Valley
Mikaël Kingsbury’s dominance on the moguls World Cup stage continued this weekend, and fellow Sochi 2014 medallist Justine Dufour-Lapointe too joined the gold parade in Deer Valley, Utah.
Over two days Team Canada moguls skiers nabbed three gold medals, a silver, and a bronze at the third World Cup stop of the season.
On Friday, Kingsbury won his first of two World Cup gold medals in Utah in the men’s moguls. The Sochi silver medallist comfortably finished ahead of Matt Graham of Australia and American skier Patrick Dineen.
The next day it was dual moguls action, a non-Olympic competition that’s starting to gain momentum, where skiers go head-to-head in elimination style. Kingsbury maintained his Friday form. His first challenger, Rikuya Tanaka of Japan was beaten 21-14. Thomas Rowley of the United States was swept aside 26-9. Then Graham failed to get redemption for Friday, falling to Kingsbury 19-16. Dineen was next to challenge Kingsbury in the semifinal to no avail, the Canadian coming out on top 27-8. That set up the final against American Dylan Walczyk, where a 21-14 score in favour of the Canadian secured his second World Cup gold medal of the weekend.
In women’s moguls on Friday KC Oakley of the United States upset the reigning Olympic gold and silver medallists Justine and Chloé Dufour-Lapointe, the sisters finishing second and third respectively. On Saturday, Justine refused to be bested.
The youngest of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters and the moguls Olympic champion was determined to dominate the dual event. She ripped through the field in elimination beating Japan’s Ako Iwamoto Regina Rakhimova of Russia 21-14 in her first two races. Iwamoto’s compatriot Satsuki Ito was next to fall 22-13, then Switzerland’s Deborah Scanzio was Dufour-Lapointe’s semifinal victim 26-9.
That set up the dream final for the home crowd against American veteran and Sochi bronze medallist Hannah Kearney. Dufour-Lapointe led all the way through with clean executions while Kearney struggled, giving the Canadian the golden step on the podium.
The Dufour-Lapointe sisters now hold three of the top five women’s spots in the overall moguls World Cup standings with the first (Justine), third (Chloé) and fifth (Maxime) places. Audrey Robichaud and Andi Naude are also ranked, giving Canadian Freestyle Ski Association half the spots in the top 10.